A History Of Magic

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Major Religions And Magic: Buddhism

Chapter 10

In Buddhism, suffering is made into an automatic part of life, while pleasure is seen as something fleeting that, if pursued, can lead its hunter into a never-ending quest to quench a thirst for bliss that will never be satiated, as it will only grow stronger. The seeking of pleasure, be it through sexual urges, riches, or immortality, is one of the roots of suffering, according to Buddhists. They see these cravings as desires that will never be satisfied; therefore, having them will only bring suffering. The other root is ignorance, for it is the inability to understand the world as it is, to grasp the nature of things, and that brings along a stream of negative emotions (anger, envy, hatred, etc.) that, again, will only bring suffering.

 This is why the followers of the Buddhist religion try to find perpetual peace through meditation; to be able to know and understand the world and rid themselves of their earthly desires so they can live without suffering and be reborn into a better life instead of reaching the afterlife full of the despair they fear so much.

 The truth about the end of suffering relates to two different things: the end of physical suffering through death, or the end of emotional or mental suffering through reaching Nirvana, a state of spiritual enlightenment that can only be achieved by carrying an impeccable moral conduct.  It is the belief of the Buddhist people that once the suffering in this life has ended, they are sent to another plane, good or bad, depending on how they behaved during their time on Earth. If sent to one of the three positive planes, they can be reborn as demigods, gods, or men.

 In earlier times, Muggles who reached Nirvana often turned out to be magically gifted, and their spiritual revelation was nothing but the magic they had in them all along finally making itself present after being suppressed by a lifestyle full of meditation and the neglect of one’s emotions, which are known to bring out the magic in those who possess it when they are at a peak.

 This is not to say that meditating is bad by any means. It has been known that many Buddhist monks who have said to have achieved Nirvana are actually Squibs who, through deep concentration and faith, have managed to feel the magic they are incapable of using. Some have even managed to perform simple spells when concentrated hard enough on what they want to achieve, but nothing beyond that. As wizards, it can be somewhat difficult to understand why someone would seek such things when there’s a spell for practically everything, but it is, some say, one of the most admirable qualities of the Muggle world to have faith in something pure and mighty that can explain every single thing in the universe.

 We’ve established, then, that Buddhism is mainly about understanding the world as it is and dealing with suffering, its cause and its end as a part of life on this earth in order to be reborn into a plane where suffering does not exist. Or, if one is reborn into the world of men, to have a second chance to achieve Nirvana. Taking all this into account, we could say that wizards are, in fact, considered part of the privileged few who have reached that state of spiritual freedom, seeing as how the many interpretations of Nirvana always lead back to the most basic forms of magic. To be able to use and channel magic gives a person the ability to make their life easier while also giving them a quality to understand the world in a much better way than a Muggle could. That is admired by Buddhists, even when they don’t truly grasp the concept of wizardry and mainly see our kind as admirable, reborn spirits of some ancient life who were blessed enough to be sent back and show this world how to end suffering. Buddhist monks even show their admiration by wearing robes not unlike a wizard’s. It is, we should say, a subliminal part of their religion to be in awe of wizards, as we symbolize the better life they seek to be reborn into.

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