One of my posters asked me to write an article about a class in Buddhism I took from one of the top Buddhist scholars in the nation.
As I wrote, my last semester in college I was informed I was short a class in Philosophy. I remember looking at "Epistemology" and thinking, "An entire semester of that? No thanks."
The only thing open was a class in Buddhism, and I had to ask the teacher to let me in. Thank God he did, because it was one of the best classes I ever took.
By the way, I am not a Buddhist, but what the Buddha originally taught is so simple and common-sense it is impossible to forget the basics.
What the instructor taught is this: the Buddha said, "Do philosophy and meditate."
Then one day you become "enlightened" and wake up ("Buddha" comes from the word for "awake") and move into a state of immense and permanent bliss. In that permanent and unchanging state you cease to cling to the up-and-down of pleasure.
In a nutshell, that's it. There are different schools, with some very complex doctrines, but they all have the same goal.
By the way, there is no difference between Eastern and Western philosophy (including the ideas of "no self," and "impermanence"), except in the East they include meditation. In the West this contemplative path has always been a minor tradition, although not so much in the past.
There are other things, such as the Noble Eightfold Path and the Three Marks of Existence (no self, impermanence, suffering), but understanding those things is not the same thing as putting them into effect.
I mentioned I am not a Buddhist. There is a reason for this.
I was unable to take my instructor's class in Indian philosophy, having graduated, but he did cover the basics, since the Buddha was out of India and was raised in it.
In Indian philosophy the God within is called the Atman and it is the same as the God without, the Brahman. When one "wakes up," he realizes the two are the same.
The Buddha was dishonest in denying the Atman and Brahman, since he looked within himself and said, "I don't see it." That's why he's often considered a heretic in the Indian tradition.
In the Western tradition this infinite, all-powerful "True Self" within and without, of pure love, pure intelligence and pure bliss is called God...or what Moses and Jesus and those after them referred to as I AM. And that is why I am a Christian, although there are many who think I'm not.
When I asked my instructor if he could recommend any books on the original teachings, he recommended one book, I believe from the '30's. He dismissed all those Bantam New Age books as nonsense.
I ended up with an entire notebook on the various later schools of Buddhism, but that disappeared years ago. Not that it matters. I certainly wasn't interested in a Ph.D. in Buddhist philosophy, which essentially what that notebook was.
I will say that when the Buddha taught about "suffering" he only meant there was more lack of pleasure than pleasure in life. More unhappiness than happiness, because people kept trying to cling to things, and those things always change.
But again, in that state of immense and unchanging bliss, you cease to cling to things. They will change but it doesn't matter because your immense well-being is not based on clinging to those permanently-changing things outside of you (for that matter, those permanently-changing things inside you).
The common misconception about Buddhism being based on not having any desires is utterly wrong. There is no human alive who doesn't have desires.
When you look at the Greek concept of arete (excellence in life) leading to eudamonia (well-being), then the greatest excellence and the greatest eudamonia is achieving that state of immense and unchanging bliss.
What that concept does is utterly destroy the vast majority of ideas in the Manosphere, because they are based on the up-and-down of transitory pleasure ("suffering") instead of a permanent state of well-being. To be "awake."
Many people have entered this state of immense and unchanging bliss for no reason at all. It happened to me when I was 18, for two weeks. Then it went away, but later when I took that class in Buddhism, I realized what had happened to me. Supposedly if I had known enough to meditate on it, I could have had made that state permanent, and even enlarged on it.
The feeling was one of great peace, great bliss, and immense gratitude. I understand why Meister Eckhart said, "If the only prayer you ever say is 'Thank you,' it will be enough." I know exactly what he meant. And every day I thought, "This is how life is supposed to be"...and I felt as if I was immersed in an ocean.
I also realized some years later that what I experienced was about one percent of what I could have.
But what happened to me is impossible to forget, and I judge things based on it. Which is why I know nonsense when I hear it, and why I know that Roissy and Vox Day and "Roosh" and Rollo Tomassi are adolescents giving people terrible advice.
Their advice is about the up-and-down of transitory pleasure and not how to achieve a permanent state of genuine well-being. In other words, their advice to ultimately how to increase suffering and staying asleep (they and others delude themselves that "Taking the Red Pill" is "waking up. It's exchanging one Matrix for another).
Which is why I've written of knowing men who went from woman to woman to woman, seducing all of them, and so ruined their lives. Of course, the most influential of the Lost Boys of the Manosphere know nothing of this, just delusions about "Alpha" and "Game" and "the Dark Triad" and "insane confidence."
I once told the clown Roissy, "I have more experience than you," and let it go at that. I'm sure he thought I meant Sex and Girls.
But that's not what I meant at all. I have experiences he and the other Lost Boys know nothing about. And, most probably, they never will.