Our youthful years have made us attached to something that we should not be so attached to. We are not fundamentally this fleshy body. We will journey through this body’s many changes and emotional ups and downs having to learn to let go of what we once held tightly to. It’s not an easy ride and can be quite painful.
The optimists among us are trying to make a bad situation seem better or, in the end, no problem. But this is not the way Buddhism sees this human life. Its frightful message is that when you release this body you will undoubtedly take up another one. The stream or current of rebirth only ends with nirvana.
Our dependence upon our fleshy body is profound, the degree to which is unknown to us in our day-to-day life. Yes, we have to live and learn the last part being the most difficult because most of us never really learn. It is this lack of learning that becomes our karmic burden which we cannot escape. In fact, we are always learning the wrong lessons so that we never truly learn.
This optimistic side of us cannot read the future; it cannot see the big picture either. It only amounts to wishful thinking. The optimistic side is only attending to the needs of the temporal body. It has a very bad track record. Still, we rely on it too much especially when things are not going our way.
When Buddhism comes into the picture for us, our ability to learn from its teachings is at a very low level. We have no practical experience with how to live the right way. Buddhism can teach us. But a lot of the teaching involves our undivided attention and a willingness to face obstacles that we once feared which most people are reluctant to do.