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Material World: Real or Illusion. Judaism and Buddhism

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Material World: Real or illusion?

Buddhism and Judaism


Just like in a competition, society has been forced to change and evolve drastically according to every human need. Although it is obvious that it must have certain adjustments every now and then to work along with individuals, transformations are now more frequently. This shows the loss of power and lack of control of society over the population. It can be showed especially with failure attempts to get power back by creating new and unnecessary needs based on material objects and possessions. Which have replaced humans' sense of spirituality and self-criticism, about what one really needs to get liberation and transcend in this life.

Therefore, by considering Buddhist teachings toward this subject, it can be found an entire moral and metaphysic theory explaining both the relation of substance and the individual itself. It can also be contemplated the relation base on 'suffering', the main foundation of Buddhist ideology; which is even more related with the material world in the second point of the Four Noble Truths. It establishes basically that "all kinds of suffering have their origins in craving or selfish desire rooted in ignorance. Not knowing things as they are or being ignorant of their true nature, people crave for and slavishly cling to things" (Phra Brahmgagunabhorn, 2005, p. 7). This quote gives the basic statement related with the material world as a barrier to get to Nirvana or liberation. Since human attachment and dependence over the physical world causes ignorance, suffering and frustration, which get us far away from the Eightfold Path.

However, Buddhist teachings have more to say about the material or physical world as we know it; this view reflects the ideology's deeper substratum. According to Buddha "nothing in the world is possessed either of self or of permanence. So all things are without self, without permanence and full of suffering" (Smart, N., 1999, p. 17). These three last points are the marks of existence, which relate completely the theory of material equal to suffering. As nothing in the world is permanent (except for Nirvana which is ultimately satisfactory), everything boils down eventually. This erosion of the physical world causes frustration and disappointment because of the great



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