After reading Huston Smith’s chapter on Buddhism, I have come to realize that the Buddhist religion has some similar aspects to Christianity. An example that caught my attention was when Mara was trying to distract Siddhartha from his quest, this is like how the Devil tempts humans into sin. Furthermore, I found the six aspects of the Buddhist religion to be fascinating, the aspect of intense self-effort really grasped my attention because I find that characteristic the be useful in everyday life. It doesn’t necessarily say to fully rely on yourself in order to achieve the top, but in order to do so you cant have anyone else do the work for you. Further through the reading, The Four Noble Truths revealed some sides of life that I really didn’t think of before, for example dukkha questions how much of life is enjoyable. Throughout my life, there have been times that life has been enjoyable but there are just as many undesirable moments. Lastly, I found hat the Eightfold Path to be a very reasonable way to live, it is a way to better oneself in more ways than one. Also, in relation to myself, I can see the Eightfold Path work in Christian doctrine, and I can see myself want this type of lifestyle.
Next I feel as if Smith really focuses on two main points in the Buddhist religion, having a lot of self-effort and being able to reach nirvana. First, I see the point of self-effort in many points of buddhism, it is even included in Buddha’s six aspects of religion. Also, I feel as if the Eightfold Path’s themselves are based on self-effort because only you can change yourself, of course people can lend a hand but it’s really up to the individual. Furthermore, I feel like Smith’s writing really focuses on how Buddhism’s goal is to attain nirvana. He even talk’s about three different branches of buddhism but their goals are all the same. Subsequently, I feel as if Smith’s goal is to simply explain religions and as to why and how thy exist, however, he is writing in a way that relates to use, for example he uses the example of Western people or ideas that come from the West.