It is realistic and offers a realistic view of life and of the world. It does not entice people into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize people with all kinds of imaginary fears and guilt-feelings. Buddhism tells us exactly and objectively what we are and what the world around us is, and shows us the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquillity and happiness.
It appeals to the West because it has no dogmas, and it satisfies both the reason and the heart alike. It insists on self-reliance coupled with tolerance for others. Buddhism points to man alone as the creator of his present life and as the sole designer of his own destiny. It produces the feeling of self-reliance by teaching that the whole destiny of man lies in his own hand, and that he himself possesses the faculty of developing his own energy and insight in order to reach the highest goal. Such is the nature of Buddhism.
Faith in the theistic sense is not found in Buddhism because of its emphasis on understanding. One should not adopt an unquestioning belief of his teacher and his textbook. One studies the fact, examines the scientific arguments, and assesses the reliability of the information. If he has doubts, he should reserve his judgment until such time as when he is able to investigate the accuracy of the information for himself.
"To read a little Buddhism is to realize that the Buddhists knew two thousand ago far more about our modern problems of psychology than they have yet been given credit for. They studied these problems long ago, and found the answers too. We are now rediscovering the Ancient Wisdom of the East." - C.G Jung
The Buddha's message of non-violence and peace, of love and compassion, of tolerance and understanding, of truth and wisdom, of respect and regard for all life, of freedom from selfishness, hatred and violence, delivered over two thousand five hundred years ago, stands good for today and will stand forever as the Truth.
The Buddha taught that we must develop a heart of wisdom, a heart of love, a heart of understanding, to overcome the prevailing vices that have plagued man since the beginning of time.
Buddhism can teach humanity to walk the Middle Path of moderation and have a better understanding on how to lead a richer life of peace and happiness.
In the Three Greatest Men in History, H.G. Wells states:
In The Buddha you see clearly a man, simple, devout, alone, battling for light, a vivid human personality, not a myth. He too gave a message to mankind universal in character. Many of our best modern ideas are in closest harmony with it. All the miseries and discontents of life are due, he taught, to selfishness. Before a man can become serene, he must cease to live for his senses or himself. Then he mergers into a greater being. Buddhism in a different language called men to self-forgetfulness 500 years before Christ. In some ways, The Buddha was nearer to us and our needs. He was more lucid upon our individual importance in service than Christ was and less ambiguous upon the question of personal immortality.
Buddhism wins by the warm touch of love, not by the cold claws of fear. Fear of the supernatural and the doctrine of everlasting hell-fire have no place in Buddhism.
Buddhism is saturated with this spirit of free inquiry and complete tolerance. It is the teaching of the open mind and the sympathetic heart, which, lighting and warming the whole universe with its tiny rays of wisdom and compassion sheds its genial glow on every being struggling in the ocean of birth and death.
In Buddhism, there is no personal judge either to condemn or to reward but only the working of an impersonal moral causation and natural law.