What are the Buddha’s ideas about the ‘self’ and its impermanence

  • William A. Young, The World’s Religions: Worldviews and Contemporary Issues, Fourth Ed. (ISBN: 0205917615)
  • Harry R. Moody, The Five Stages of the Soul (ISBN: 9780385486774)
  • Reflection Paper, Assignment #3Buddhism Instructions:
    These reflection papers are a chance for you to think through and relate to the assigned readings in your own way.  Think of this paper as a kind of “journal” in which you reflect on the ideas in the readings. The study and practice of religion is a highly personal experience and each person comes to the Qur’an,.  Therefore, you are encouraged to be creative and to write about your own personal experiences, relating them to the faith practices and wisdom traditions we will be studying this semester.  However, be aware that creativity and chaos are not synonymous—in other words, you need to make sure the ideas and thoughts expressed in your paper are coherent and understandable, and most importantly, that they directly relate to the readingsEssays must be typed in 12-point font and should be 500 words in lengthWhen you cite a source, be sure to include the title of the book and page number.  If you cite a source other than our class textbooks, include a bibliography at the end of the paper.  Does this change anything for you as a muslim ?  If so, how?  Don’t be afraid to experiment with ideas.
  • Prompt: (Write about 2 of the 5 questions below, OR, you may write about two of your own questions, from the chapter on Buddhism, that were of particular interest to you.)
  • 1.     Describe the Four Passing Sights.  What kind of impact do you think they had on Siddhartha, given that he was raised without any knowledge of pain, suffering, or hardship?  Do you agree that every human being experiences these Four Passing Sights, to some extent?  If so, how have you experienced them in your own life?
  • 2.     Describe how the Buddha’s story can be contextualized within Moody’s five stages: Call, Search, Struggle, Breakthrough, and Return.
  • 3.     What are the Buddha’s views concerning human confusion, disappointment, pain, and suffering as expressed in the Four Noble Truths?  Can you relate a personal experience that reflects the Buddha’s insights about suffering and the human condition?
  • 4.     What are the Buddha’s ideas about the ‘self’ and its impermanence?  How do Buddhist ideas of self compare and contrast with the Hindu view of the Self (Atman)?
  • 5.     What is the Eightfold Path and how is it meant to remedy or transform the human being and lead him or her towards nirvana?

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