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The Four Noble Truths

Some critics argue that Buddhism is pessimistic and encourages hopelessness toward life. These people base their views on just the First Noble Truth of Suffering. Yet one should not categorize Buddhism as pessimistic, because even though it stresses the unsatisfactory nature of everything in this world it also teaches us how to get out of this net of suffering.

The Four Noble Truths form the core of the Dharma that the Buddha discovered and taught.

The Noble Truth of Suffering:

Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, death is suffering. Sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness and distress are all suffering. Being attached to the unloved is suffering; being separated from the loved is suffering. Not getting what one wants is suffering.

In short, the five aggregates of grasping (form, consciousness, perception, feeling/sensation, volition) are suffering.

The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering:

It is the craving which gives rise to rebirth, bound up with pleasure and lust, finding fresh delight now here, now there: this is to say sensual craving, craving for existence, and craving for non-existence.

Feeling/Sensation born of eye contact, ear-contact, nose-contact, tongue-contact, body-contact, mind-contact in the world are agreeable and pleasurable, and it is here that this craving arises and establishes itself.

The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering:

It is the remainder-less fading away and extinction of this craving - the giving up and relinquishing of it, the liberation and detachment from it.

The Noble Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering:

It is the Noble Eightfold Path: that is, right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right, mindfulness, right concentration.

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