I am unclear as to the role of compassion in all this. My best guess is that it is a means of overcoming one’s attachments. I really am unclear about this. It may be that concern and attention to the suffering and well-being of others allows one to detach oneself from one’s own attachments. I am uncomfortable with this formulation because it makes others into instrument of one’s own salvation instead of others being an end in themselves.
Even if my meager understanding of Buddhism is completely wrong in particulars and in general, the question from my last post remains: is the best we can hope for is to minimize suffering? To turn away and try to hide from despair? Is suicide the only answer to despair, great or otherwise? Does this explain materialism’s attractions: beautiful women, fast cars, the latest and best? Running from death, despair and the humiliation suffering begets?
Is despair the great secret of life?