(Since I’m failing pretty hard on my resolutions except for 1.5 and 2.1, I figured I might as well knock out an easy one and keep up with my blogging.)
My mom sent me off to Catholic school, at least in part, hoping for some spiritual growth. I guess it wasn’t really a failure. I went in leaning atheist and came out more in the agnostic camp. During and since I’ve worked to define and refine my own personal philosophy. Between my successes and failures, my trials and tribulations, I have built my personal philosophy around truth (I wrote a little about it previously). Truth as in, being able accept the truth and being able to present the truth, communicating with others honestly and communicating with myself honestly, acting with honest intentions, etc.
At some point, I was prompted to look into some of the tenets of Buddhism. Surprisingly, I found many similarities between my personal philosophy and The Eightfold Path, which is the path to Nirvana/self-awakening/enlightenment. The aspects that are most similar to my personal philosophy are Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, and Right Knowledge (which is an acquired factor and not really part of the Eightfold Path). Clearly, I need to work more on the concentration aspects of the Eightfold Path if I am to find enlightenment.
The Four Noble Truths, I can accept as well. Though I’d take a slightly more optimistic perspective on them, but that’s just the hoper/optimist/dreamer in me. The pragmatic realist in me accepts that there is some truth in the Four Noble Truths, and that hoping and wishing often lead to struggle.
There are few genuinely new thoughts, and I didn’t expect my personal philosophy to be unique. I find comfort that my personal ideas aren’t complete shit and that there exists a framework of similar thoughts that has been refined over thousands of years. I hope that they will help me better define and expand my personal philosophy. Perhaps I may even adopt them wholesale, though don’t hold your breath on me identifying myself as a Buddhist. I hesitate to identify myself with or as anything. Hrmm.