The Black: Life is suffering, masked by joy. The goal is the Void -- to transcend this inherent suffering by escaping from worldly entanglements.
Example: Early buddhism.

The White: Life is joy, masked by suffering. The goal is happiness -- to see underneath the superficial veil of suffering, and find peace in the world.
Example: Early christianity.

The Yellow: Life is. There is no goal.
Example: Taoism.

Most life philosophies can be reduced to some combination of these three. Please note that the colors are in no way related to race or moral evaluation. (ie "Black" is in no way connected to "evil" or "the dark side", and neither does it refer to people of african descent.) Sometimes I just number them to avoid this kind of misinterpretation. But the color names are nice.

My own approach is mostly White, with a touch of Yellow. I don't think that there is an ultimate reality; I only see an endless series of layers, joy under suffering under joy under suffering. But I like to focus on the joy.

Philosophy of life:

There are three things in life you spend most of your time doing:

  1. Getting from point a to point b.
  2. Eating.
  3. Sleeping.
There are two approaches to handling these three things:

Of course, there are times when one or the other of these approaches to eating, sleeping, and traveling is more appropriate...

I am sure the type of outlook you called "the black" does exist. However, it certainly has nothing to do with Buddhism, early or not. Alas, casual observers often believe that about Buddhism.

The Buddha never said life was suffering, let alone that the goal of life was void. The Buddha did observe the existence of frustration in life (yes, frustration describes his idea much better than suffering). That is a far cry from identifying life with it.

As for the "void," Buddhism observes that reality as we perceive it is produced by our minds, hence "empty". (As pointed out in The Matrix, what we perceive is simply electric signals coming to the brain.) It is actually hard to think of anything being the "goal" of Buddhism, but the willingness to shed the delusion and perceive reality as it is rather than as it appears may come close to a "goal".

It is of course impossible for anyone to perceive reality as it is while feeling sorry for oneself (which is the idea behind the observation that there is suffering/frustration in life).

It is just as impossible for anyone to perceive reality as it is in the moments of feeling complete and utter satisfaction with oneself.

All in all, it is not possible to view reality as it is through colored glasses, no matter what the color of the glasses is. That is the basic idea behind Buddhism, which, when you get to understand it, is very simple. If anything, Buddhism fits "the grey" model described by xdjio: Life is. It is neither good nor evil, though we often like to turn it into one or the other.

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