A friend and I recently chatted about our past false-starts in religion. We talked about the concept of God, neti neti, Buddhism, reincarnation, and whether angels and the devil exists.
I was born into a Buddhist family and while we were not super religious, the ideology stuck with me throughout my life up until about two years ago.
Buddhism has never made much sense to me when I really peeled back the layers of what it taught. Yet I still “believed” in the teachings by gaslighting myself as my religious leaders had gaslighted me—that I simply hadn’t understood it deeply enough to see its truth.
But if a religion requires such a depth of training in order for its truth to be absorbed—a depth that ninety-nine percent of the population will never reach due to the required time it would take to get there—then what use is it to humanity?
The most dangerous thing about Buddhism and concepts like neti neti is that people often come across it at times when they are searching for something more in life. It is usually when they are depressed that they search for deeper truths.
At the heart of it, both Buddhism and neti neti denies the existence of God, angels, demons, and the devil by saying that the ultimate answer to all of life’s suffering lies in achieving nothingness, or the void.
Wow. If there was ever a more depressing philosophy to live life by, I haven’t seen it. So everything you work for in life doesn’t mean anything, and you shouldn’t be happy about it, because it is an illusion since it’s not the void?
I can’t believe I stuck with this religion for so long! What a fucking mess of nihilism.
The other part of Buddhism and neti neti that I didn’t agree with was the implication that there were no such things as good and evil, and therefore no such things such as good or bad, because they were all “part of the void”. What a bunch of shit that philosophy is.
In my late twenties, in an attempt to relieve the anxiety and depression I was feeling, I took an interest in Zen Buddhism and went to the Taiwanese Zen Monastery in Sunnyvale to learn more. Unfortunately, the classes I took there made me fall into an even deeper depression when I learned from my teachers that the goal of enlightenment was to achieve “nothingness”.
These monks are very kind people who have the best intentions. But unfortunately, they have dedicated their lives to teaching a philosophy that encourages depression and nihilism in people who are already depressed.
If there are happy Buddhists—or happy people who took those courses at the Zen Monastery in Sunnyvale—it is because they didn’t take the teachings seriously. They were happy in spite of Buddhism, not because of it.
How can you be happy if you believe that the highest attainment in life is “nothingness”?
I don’t know if God exists as an entity, but I know that there is a very benevolent and loving energy in the universe that values freedom, justice, and love. It is capable of miracles and of healing.
I know that the devil exists because some elites of this world belong to secret societies that take him very seriously. They wage wars and kill people to sacrifice to the devil in order to gain worldly wealth and power.
But those people are a miserable bunch behind their nice clothes and big houses. So it’s a bad trade for them anyway.
If you are researching Buddhism and neti neti, do yourself a favor and just stay away from those things. Close your eyes, take a breath, and pray to God even if you’ve never prayed before. Pray that God may lead you to a happier life. Pray that God can lift your confusion about religion and faith. Pray that God will give you guidance and wisdom for your situation in life.
Throw away those Buddhist and neti neti books. Take a walk out in nature. Talk to a kind person that uplifts you. Talk to a funny person that makes you laugh. Kiss your baby.
Those things are guaranteed to make you happy.