Finding clarity in Buddhism, Christianity, and Philosophy
There are many things in life that work to guide us to ultimate transcendence. Philosophy and Theology (specifically Buddhism and Christianity) each employ different concepts for allowing people passage to some harmonious place. Although each following is, in part, correct in their assumption of how to sustain a meaningful life, I find that the only religion that is relevant in dictating my personal transcendence is a particular way of life found in Christianity. While other followings have formed throughout the ages, making their own conjectures, and employing their own laws and paths to transcendence, Christianity is the only path I see as navigable.
From the beginning of man’s existence, logic has been the only ingredient separating mankind from other species. While simpler animals roamed the earth searching for what was instinctually necessary, man developed into thinkers who analyzed life and made conjectures as to its real meaning. In a sense, when man began thinking life was born. However, there is no divinity in thought, rather its application and transition into forming logical ideas has made thought something worth pursuing.
As time advanced so did thought, and slowly more and more complex ideas regarding the purpose of life emerged. All of the earliest civilizations had great thinkers who tried to unravel the mysteries of life. Like most religions, philosophy became something composed of multiple interpretations. Philosophers pondered the most important life questions, each taking their own stance, and providing numerous significant realizations.
One of these new ideas was that life’s sole purpose was to think. Plato is considered a great thinker, and he proposed that by unraveling the mysteries of life one could achieve the ultimate goal of bodily transcendence. He found that there was no order in everyday life; history was composed of the downfalls of man, follies that were repeated generation after generation. He believed that the only way to purge one’s body from the cycle of unending meaninglessness was to live by logic. Logic allowed the body to exist in harmony with the soul by casting aside anything without meaning. The unity of body and soul represented ultimate control. Plato stated, “When the soul and body are united, then nature orders the soul to rule and govern, and the body to obey and serve” (513). When the soul was in complete control, the bodily weaknesses disappeared and the mind was left to think freely. Eventually, through thought, one could achieve bodily transcendence and purpose within life.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different interpretations within philosophy. This idea is supported by Descartes doubt of every unproven thought. He doubted even his own existence, “I do not yet know with sufficient clearness what I am” (119). Descartes wanted every fact to be proven, and only then could he fully believe...