An existential restatement of Buddhism:
The Four Sucky Truths
- Life is pointlessly sucky. This is called the Pointless Suckiness of Life (PSOL). Life is a struggle and then you die, with no guarantee of any permanent satisfaction or happiness anywhere. The best you can hope for is a few moments of truth, beauty, love, and laughter along the way.
- The pointless suckiness of life is only a problem when we want life to be otherwise.
- We can escape the pointless suckiness of life by accepting and enjoying life as it is right this minute. Don’t worry, it will change.
- The path to acceptance is the Manifold Path, the Middle Way.
The Manifold Path
- Appropriate thinking – not too much, not too little. Don’t look for permanent happiness or satisfaction. Doing so just leads to frustration. Thoughts are habitual so find some that are happy for you and think them regularly.
- Appropriate eating – the right foods, the right amount. Don’t look for a silver bullet that will solve all your weight, health, or psychological issues. Doing so just leads to frustration. Some folks do well on a low fat, low protein, high complex carb diet. Some others claim to do well on a low carb diet. Find out what works for you and stick to it.
- Appropriate exercise – some, but no heroic extremes required. You don’t have to be the best. I mean, you can if you want to. Challenging yourself can be fun, but it can also turn into a treadmill that drains the joy from life. That just leads to frustration. Just do and be your best, whatever that turns out to be.
- Appropriate rest – eight hours a night for most of us.
- Appropriate work – find a way of contributing to the lives of others without causing harm to any.
- Appropriate play – find some refreshing activities you truly enjoy and do them regularly.
- Appropriate cultivation – expose yourself regularly to new ideas and perspectives.
- Appropriate reflection – periodically withdraw from life and give yourself time to recharge.
- Appropriate conscientiousness – some is good, but too many scruples are a drag. Find the balance that works for you.
YMMV, adjust as required.
(I know, in Buddhism, the Fourth Noble Truth is the Eight-Fold Path. I couldn’t squeeze everything into eight so I wound up with the Manifold Path. Oh, well. Just keep it between the ditches. That’s why it’s call the Middle Way.)