(originally written 01/31/10)
Common Sense and the Excitement of Life
I am acquainted with the Eightfold Path from a perspective of using it for a time to re-make my life after alcoholism nearly ended it. From that viewpoint, the Eightfold Path is simply common sense. I can find no fault in the Path except one: where's the excitement of life?
What sense is it to become corporeal, and suffer in this material existence if not to experience the thrills, the joys, the agonies of life? Humans are all about exploring limits, not walking the middle way. The middle way is for herd animals. The extremes are for humans, for explorers, for wanderers.
Imagine a see-saw. The middle point where the board rocks upon the fulcrum is a boring ride, indeed. But out on the ends of the board -- well, that's another matter entirely! Out on the end, staring over the precipice, a moment away from free-fall -- that's where humans belong. And the Eightfold Path can go there also. It helps make sure the excitement doesn't turn into hysteria, disaster and death. Right Intention, y'know.
If one ponders a moment on the subject, one can see that the Eightfold Path weaves in through every aspect of human life -- even out on the edge. It has to, else it would not be a true wisdom.
Life is to be lived. Life is to be enjoyed. Life is transient. If one looks closely one can see it in the Eightfold Path. There is a time and place for excitement, as well as for serenity.