I am no expert on Buddhism, not even close to an expert. I am simply curious about other religions and philosophies about life. From what I have read, Buddhism, which has its roots in the East, very much parallels the teachings of Aristotle, with his roots established in the West.
According to its tenets, Buddhism regards the achievement of happiness as the aim of human endeavors. Aristotle teachings were very similar – the meaning of life is individual happiness.
For the Buddhist, happiness is achieved in Nirvana – a state free of suffering and a state of spiritual enlightenment. Achieving Nirvana is similar to achieving: 1) Maslow’s self-actualization and peak experiences, 2) the ancient philosophers’ freedom from fear and anxiety, 3) Campbell’s mastering of both the material and the spiritual worlds, and 4) Csikszentmihalyi’s integration with other people and with universal values.
So, it appears to me that Buddhism’s Nirvana is very similar to the West’s happiness. They both represent inner peace, freedom from suffering, pain, fear, and anxiety, and a transcendental connection with the spiritual.
But what about the steps to reach Nirvana – are those similar to what is proposed by the West as necessary to reach happiness?
The answer in my next post.