This 29 page essay provides a clear description of Buddhist thought from the Theravada perspective. The author takes us on a fascinating analytical jaunt through historical perspectives of reality, thus creating a practical matrix for understanding the Buddha's "middle way."
"The Buddha claimed that his was a practical teaching; its object was to show a way of escape from the ever-revolving round of birth-and-death, which constitutes samsara and which is considered a condition of degradation and suffering(dukkha). This way of escape was meant primarily for human beings. True to this central conception, therefore, as stated above, the Buddha started with a minute analysis - using 'analysis' in its strictest sense of 'dissolution' - of the human being into the elements of which his being is composed." (p. 7)
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