Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Huston Smith Hinduism Reading Pages 12-22

What do people want?

1. In Hinduism, people want four things, the first of which is pleasure. Hindu’s do not condone Hedonism and encourage one to seek pleasure in life as long as they do not break basic moral rules. Although this may temporarily fulfill someone, they cannot totally fulfill one’s soul forever.

2. The second thing that people want is success. The benefits of success last longer than hedonism, but still cannot totally fulfill one’s soul because success cannot be shared, worldly success cannot stay with you when you die, and the drive for success cannot be relieved.

3. After one can no longer be filled by desires, he/she will seek the path of renunciation; in which he/she will seek fulfillment from what life has to offer other than what you can physically experience.

4. To follow the path of renunciation, one must shift their focus off of themselves and onto a larger community and their duty toward that community. Doing one’s duty has many benefits that require a maturity of the soul to appreciate such as self-respect and respect from others.

5. Although the path of renunciation offers a longer-lasting sense of fulfillment, this fulfillment is still only temporary and only exists in the physical world without having long-lasting affects on one’s soul.

Thesis: In Hinduism, it is believed that people will want different things at different stages of their Atman or soul’s maturity. The first two are mainly composed of hedonistic and earthly desires, and after one realizes that this is not enough to fulfill the soul, they will shift their focus to a larger community, but this will also eventually not be enough to fulfill them.

What do people really want?

1. Eventually, every human being will realize that they want more than the world can offer and will want to make progress on a spiritual level.

2. After going through the first 3 levels of what people want, they will realize that what they really want is to be (to exist forever and have the promise of the future ahead of them), to know, and joy but they will want an infinite amount of each.

3. Hinduism affirms that infinite being, knowledge and joy are all attainable and when you attain all three, you will be liberated or in Moksha.

4. The reason that people do not immediately want these things or even know that they are there is because this mindset is buried beneath a multitude of distractions associated with the physical world.

Thesis: What people really want consists of three things; to be, to know, and joy. Once one breaks thorough the barriers of distractions associated with this world, they will discover a desire to have an infinite amount of this three things, which Hinduism affirms is attainable through Moksha.

No comments:

Post a Comment