A “half-glass of water” question

Todd’s recent half-glass of water themed post “Optimistic Pessimism,” along with the trend in these begun by Wynne’s “The Glass Is Refillable” and then Crisbiecoach’s “A Glass Full of Water,” made me think of something Walpola Rahula wrote in his classic book What the Buddha Taught, namely that

“Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic.”

I don’t want to elaborate further on the meaning of that statement — at least not at this moment — because what I’m curious about now is the figure (the metaphor) of the half-glass of water. We say that the glass is half-full to indicate optimism, or an optimistic outlook. We say the glass is half-empty, indicating a pessimistic view.

What would we say about the glass to indicate a perspective that is neither pessimistic nor optimistic?

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20 thoughts on “A “half-glass of water” question

    1. That’s interesting because Rahula’s next sentence is: “If anything at all, it [Buddhism] is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and of the world.”

      1. I think it depends on your attitude towards life in that present moment. Some moments you may see the glass half full some others half empty. You can always decide to have an optimistic or pessimistic outlook. All depends on you at the end, and the half glass is constantly changing. Just some extemporaneous ideas.

    1. It’s certainly a widely read classic. Proceeds kind of like Mill’s Utilitarianism, actually, responding to and clarifying or correcting common misconceptions.

  1. A couple things come to mind
    It is what it is
    And Bruce Lee’s suggestion to “Be like water” it takes the form of the glass
    Tolle’s existence without or beyond form

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