Buddhist doctrine of Anata(no-self) makes me depressed.?





Many enlightened people or at least those who claim like Echat Tolle and some Zen people i know claim that there is no soul, or anything separate at all. That to die is like a water drop in the ocean, dissolves like never existed. They seem to be happy about it and seem to think that it is the ultimate truth.
Why would anyone be trying to realize that they don’t even exist? I don’t understand that. Much of Buddhism makes sense except those Zen Buddhists, meditating all day trying to experience the no self. And those enlightened people that go around smiling telling people THERE IS NO SOUL! YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS which is not separate from universal consciousness in any way!
Those things make me depressed. I like to take third perspective on my situation, but enlightenment is far too much. I keep thinking about it like “man if he is enlightened he probably knows the truth and if this is truth then what is the point of everything?”


  1. i agree with the OP. these “enlightenment” philosophies reduce all life to meaninglessness and pointlessness. i do not like them either.

  2. Well then, with an optimistic attitude, take a look at What the difference between unconditional love is, and attachment. This, you might perceive as being a bit more positive to you about Buddhism. Please read below, and have an excellent week. Life is great & people are too. Thanks for reading.
    “What in the world is the difference between loving a person, and being attached to them? Love is the sincere wish, for others to be happy for others and free from suffering. Having realistically realized other?s kindness, as well as their faults, Love is Always focused on the other person?s welfare. We have no ulterior intensions or motives to fulfill our own self-interests; or to fulfill our own desires, we love others, all people, simply because they exist. Attachment, on the other hand, exaggerates others? good qualities, and makes us crave to be with them. When we?re with them, we are happy, but when we?re separated from them, we?re miserable. Attachments are always linked with expectations of what others should be, or what they should do for us. Is love, as it is understood in most societies, really love OR attachment ? Let us examine this a little more. Generally speaking, we are attracted {drawn to) people because they have qualities we value, or because they help us in some way. If we carefully observe, through introspection, our own thought processes we?ll notice that we very often look for specific qualities in others. Some of these qualities we are drawn to, finding them attractive, others are qualities within our parents, or qualities which society values.
    We examine someone?s looks, education, social status, financial status, and so forth. This is how Most of us decide on whether or not the person holds any true value, or not. In addition, we judge people as worthwhile according to how they relate to us. If they praise us, encourage us, help us, if they listen to what we have to say, if they make us feel secure, if they take care of us when were sick, unhappy or depressed, we consider them good, or sometimes righteous people, and these are the people we more drawn to, whom we are most likely attracted to, and the people we choose to be around with.
    In all honesty, this is very biased, for we are judging them, only in terms of how they relate to us, as if we are the most important person in the world & thinking the world revolves around us! After we?ve judged certain people to be good for us, whenever we see them, it appears to us as if goodness is radiating out from within them, but as we are more mindfully aware, we realize that we have projected this goodness on to them.
    Desiring to be the people who make us feel good, we become emotional yo-yo?s, when we?re with these people, we?re up, but when we?re not with them, we?re down. Furthermore, we form fixed concepts of what our relationships with these people will be, and thus have expectations of them. When they do not live up to our expectations of them, we?re unhappy, disappointed or may even become angry. We want them to change so that they will match what we think they are. But our projections and expectations come from our own minds, not from other people. Our problems arise not because others aren?t who we thought they were, but because we mistakenly thought they were something they were not. We often use a type of Checklist also. Checklist: ?I Love You IF ___________ !? This Love is Conditional and what we call love, is most often attachment. It is actually an attitude which overestimates the qualities of another person.
    Then we cling tightly to that person, thinking our peace and happiness depends on that person. We even often blame that person for our unhappiness. Love, on the other hand, is a very patient, calm, optimistic and relaxed attitude. We want others to be free from suffering and to be happy simply because they exist. While attachments are uncontrolled, and too emotionally sentimental, Love is Patient, powerful, and controlled(disciplined). Attachment obscures our judgment {our ability to make sound, wise decisions), and we become impatient, angry, and impartial ? helping our dear ones, and those who do us no harm. Love clarifies our mind, & we access a situation by thinking of the greatest good for everyone. Attachment is based on selfishness, while love is founded on valuing, & cherishing others, even those who do not look very appealing to us. Love always looks beyond all the superficial appearances and dwells on the fact that they are just like us: they want peace of mind, happiness, and wish to avoid suffering. If we see unattractive, or unintelligent people we most often feel repulsed, because our selfish minds want to find attractive, intelligent, and talented people. On the other hand, Love never evaluates others by theses superficial standards and looks much deeper into the person. Love recognizes that regardless of the others appearances, they?re experiences are they same as ours: they want inner mental peace, happiness, and wish to be from suffering. When we?re attached, we?re not mentally, emotionally, & spiritually free. For we overly depend on, and cling to another person, to fulfill our emotional, mental, and spiritual needs. We fear losing the person, fearing that we?d be incomplete without them. This does Not mean that we should suppress all our emotional needs, or become aloof, and totally independent, for that too would not solve the problem. We must simply realize our unrealistic needs and slowly, gently and patiently ? seek to eliminate them. If we try to suppress them, pretending they do not exist, we become insecure, anxious, or possibly depressed. In this case, we do our best to fulfill our needs, while simultaneously working gradually to subdue them. The core problem is that most of us seek to be loved, rather than to love. We yearn to be understood by others, rather than to understand them. Our sense of emotional insecurities comes from the selfish obscuring of our own minds. We develop confidence by recognizing our inner potential to become a Selfless human being, having many magnificent qualities, then we?ll develop and have an accurate perception of ourselves, gaining self-confidence. We?ll seek to increase true unconditional love, to increase compassion, to cultivate patience, as well as generosity, right concentration and wisdom. Under the influence of attachment, we?re bound by our unstable emotional reactions to others. When they?re nice to us, we?re happy, but when they ignore us or speak sharply to us, we take it personally, and are unhappy. But pacifying attachment doesn?t mean we become hard-hearted, rather without attachments, there will be space in our hearts and minds for genuine affection and impartial love for them. And as a result, we?ll be more actively involved with them. As we learn to transform our minds & lives, through subduing our attachments, we can definitely have successful friendships, and personal relationships with others. These relationships will be richer, more meaningful because of the freedom and respect the relationships are based on. We?ll really care about the happiness and misery of all human beings equally, simply because everyone is the same inside: we all want inner peace of mind, Happiness, and to be from suffering.
    However, of course, our lifestyles and interests may be a bit more compatible with some people. Our friendships and our personal relationships will be based on mutual interests, and to help other people. Having such an attitude, we?ll be much More Patient, & tolerant toward others; will remain mentally calm, having Peace of Mind AND Happiness, and Will communicate successfully with others in life.”
    P.S. – I know some people who practice this kind of love toward all human beings, and also practice Mindfulness Meditation, and LovingKindness Meditation for peace of mind, without believing in Anatta, and reincarnation.
    Siddhartha Gautama, actually never said a person has to believe and practice all he taught.
    His teachings, he said – only serve as a guide.
    He never considered his writings, teachings etc
    infallible, and he never considered himself a prophet or a god. He simply wanted to help people end some of their suffering, to have Peace of Mind, and Happiness.
    “It is up to us to choose for ourselves as human beings, what we want to live by, for inner Peace. There has to be some truth to what he taught, for there has never been a war in the name of Buddhism {whether Theravada, Mahayana, or Zen). Do you best to be as Optimistic {seeing the glass half full) in Life as possible. This will help bring you some peace of mind. And we all need peace of mind, especially me. Take Care, Thanks for Listening

  3. Please understand that those who are alive and considered themselves enlightened may not really be so. Just like the bible, the buddhist scriptures have been edited throughout centuries by men who interpret it the way they think it means.
    To be enlightened doesn’t mean that you lose all your individuality and disappear. Otherwise, what’s the point with life, and enlightenment? Purpose of life is to be able to evolve spiritually. If you are always a spirit in bliss in the higher plane of existent, then how are you supposed to know what compassion, love, and other emotions are? One has to experience in order to really understand. A spirit has no form. It needs a physical body in order to be able to experience the human emotions.
    As for enlightenment, once you learn all there is about life, it’s up to you to decide if you are ready for ascension. If you are ready to let go of all the negativity embedded inside you, then this is when your heart will lean toward a desire for ascension. It’s your desire to reach for a higher state of consciousness because you have experienced and seen all there is about life.
    The soul is like a bridge connecting the physical body to ALL There Is. In order to live in the physical, a soul is created to allow us to live in the physical. A spirit can’t just jump down from higher dimension and head straight into a physical body. The process is much more complicated.
    When we become enlightened, we will maintain our individuality and at the same feel connected to ALL There Is because we all came from the same plasmic source of energy. We don’t just disappear, be gone and become nothingness.
    When we are enlightened, we become spiritually evolved. What is the purpose in becoming evolved? It’s a long story. One day, you will know. The existent of life (how, when,why) is really much more complexed than what a mere human can tell you.
    Right now the most important thing for you is to remain balanced. The answers will one day come to you when you are spiritually and emotionally ready because everything has a time. Everything happens at its own time.

  4. to you: grasshopper, all religions do is provide a wrap or package for spirituality. western culture focuses on individuality, whereas eastern culture focuses on the oneness of all (all suffer is also one).
    a buddha teaching is: “a tightly closed fist tries to grasp hold of things, but they slip away because of this grasping. If we open our hands, things pour over and move on unimpeded. in the way, by not trying to control the natural flow of life, we can enjoy it. when we loosen our grasping we become open, which makes us receptive to our environment. we can appreciate other people and our surroundings beyond our tightly held perceptions.”
    another: “all of buddha’s teachings can be expressed in 2 sentences. the first is ‘you must help others,’ (mahayana teachings). if not, you should not harm others (hinayana). it expresses the basis of all ethics, which is to cease harming others. both teachings are based on the thought of love and compassion.” the dalai lama
    also: “to wrap oneself always in the concerns of the world is to succumb to its violence.” no-codependency required there.
    not all buddhist practice or believe exactly the same — just as all sects of christainity don’t either. example: you don’t have to follow krishna teachings–not all buddhist do. buddhism doesn’t want to convert you from your previous religion. you can practice buddhism with any other faith. it is meditations and philosophies.
    my favorite buddha saying:
    “the path of truth lies within you; therefore not one of your steps leads from it.”
    from: a grasshopper … and one that just “let it go” when it seemed depressing to me. why solve it all in one day? life’s a journey. enjoy it. just breath.

  5. The doctrine of Buddhism is anatma(no-self) or Sunyavada(everything is Void). Sripad Sankaracharya defeated Buddhism and drew it out of India to Japan, China etc…
    Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.
    Srimad Bhagavatam(1.3.24)
    Excerpts- purport by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
    Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gaya (Bihar) as the son of Anjana, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal-killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal-killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him.
    For complete purport, read the Srimad Bhagavatam.
    It is very elaborate
    Elsewhere, A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explains,
    Lord Buddha is accepted as an incarnation of Krishna in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but in the same Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that Lord Buddha appeared in order to bewilder the atheistic class of men. Therefore his philosophy is meant for bewildering the atheists and should not be accepted. If someone asks, “Why should Krishna propagate atheistic principles?” the answer is that it was the desire of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to end the violence which was then being committed in the name of the Vedas. The so-called religionists were falsely using the Vedas to justify such violent acts as meat-eating, and Lord Buddha came to lead the fallen people away from such a false interpretation of the Vedas. Also, for the atheists Lord Buddha preached atheism so that they would follow him and thus be tricked into devotional service to Lord Buddha, or Krishna .

  6. I think there is an option. Have you ever thought about Christianity? It offers a reason to live for, a reason to go on even when things get tough – the love God has for people. I’m not going to say more about Christianity, but if you do not exist – as the people you talk about say – then why does it hurt when you have a wound? That is interesting philosophy (Buddhism), but what happens when you have a sore throat, or any wound? Can those people still say the same things?

  7. The “Soul” or the “Self” are delusional concepts. There is nothing separate in the universe. Everything is connected and when one dies the body disolves into basic elements and disperses back into the universe from which it came. This is neither pessimistic or optimistic philosophy, its simply the truth. To acknowledge the truth or reality of existance is not pessimistic. To attempt to further a delusion perhaps makes you feel good, but if it is based upon a delusion aren’t you just being dishonest?

  8. I think the people who believe it is truth are at peace at it because they believe there in nothing greater then being one with the universe.
    therefore, being a part of it, and not a seperate soul- would be a great acheivement.
    being able to completely one with the world. being able to shape yourself and things around you.
    That is how I would see it.
    but I have no learned any Zen teachings.
    I simply answered to what you wrote.
    in any case I hope you find what you are looking for- and enjoy the journey

  9. Yep.
    Don’t be a Buddhist. I came to the conclusion that it was a basically pessimistic philosophy of life. Notice that Buddhist cultures are deeply fatalistic?

    • the feeling of depression doesn’t even exist and if you cant understand that then you wont be able to understand anything along the lines. so stop trying and just move on. because criticism in general is irrelevant and if you understood that you wouldn’t have said anything to begin with. because it doesn’t matter…

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