About Buddhism by: Katy Buxton

Essay by interestedmindHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

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Creation, in the midst of suffering, strives for something greater than what this world has to offer. In this endeavor, Siddartha Gautama was enlightened with the truth of the human condition. He saw the sufferings of this world, realized that humanity is destined to have this anguish, and was given the insight to overcome it. It is not on earth where one should find his peace, but in the knowing that there is an eternal existence outside of this creation. Since Gautama became enlightened with the four noble truths (to live is to suffer; suffering is caused by desire; the cessation of suffering can be achieved; the solution is the Noble Eightfold Path), he is known as the original Buddha, or "the enlightened one."

        Buddhism, the practice of pursuing a life of enlightenment (much like that of Buddha), is the outcome of Gautama's realization. Often times praying to Buddha can be seen, by non-Buddhists, as praying to a god.

This is not the case. Buddha was exclusively human. He was neither creator nor destroyer of life. He was a man who saw that there was more to life than life itself but was not sure what it was. He dedicated his every thought to the truth beyond. As a result of his commitment he acquired the ability to attain salvation. As a follower of Buddha one is able to see what is right, find his path or destiny, and moreover, also achieve salvation.

        The teachings of Buddha, or the Dharma, are more or less internal. Unlike most religions, which require a divine source, Buddhism is a faith born within. This is a hard objective to arrive at. "Gautama himself questioned whether anyone would comprehend his teachings, and all along he seems to advocate Buddhism only for the few who...