Buddha claimed that his teachings were a raft that would take people further ashore. In so doing, he did not simply describe the shore as the end. He portrayed the shore as something that can be carried around once people get there. The raft provides insights into the truths of the existence of people. It provides them with a path to liberation (Nirvana), which is the further shore that people should aspire to reach. In his first sermon, the ‘Deer Park’ Buddha set forth The Four Noble Truths, which acted as the foundation of his future teachings (Fisher, 1997). The Four Noble Truths were: “1). that life inevitably involves suffering, is imperfect and unsatisfactory 2) that suffering originates in our desire 3) that there us a state in which there is no suffering, and 4) that there is a way to realize this state” (Fisher, 1997, p. 132).
The first noble truth is known as Dukha. It represents the shore that people are currently in. People usually aspire to have pleasures. This makes people be attached to the present shore due to their desire for pleasure (second noble truth). The attachment to pleasure prevents people from have an awareness of Nirvana. This prevents it from being reachable. Following a noble pathway (fourth noble truth) would enable people cut their attachment to pleasure. This would enable people drift to Nirvana, which would be the new shore as portrayed in the third noble truth.
The Four Noble Truths are applicable to the practice of gaining self-identity through consumerism. The desire to gain self-identity through consumerism represents the shore that people are currently in. This is relevant to the first noble truth. The desire for self-identity through consumerism makes people continuously yearn to preserve their self-identity through consumerism. This makes them be attached to the desire for pleasure (second noble truth). The desire for self-identity through consumerism blinds people from Nirvana, making it unreachable. Following a noble pathway as described in the fourth noble truth, would enable people get rid of their desire for self-identity through consumerism. This would drift people to Nirvana, which would be the new shore where there is no desire for self-identity through consumerism.
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