buddhism and life

It seems that Buddhism is the antithesis to human life.  If there is no desire, then there is no suffering.  Perhaps in theory it would be nice to live life at peace and without suffering, but if one has no desire whatsoever in life, how can one continue living?  If there is no desire in the strict sense, how is there motivation to even continue living?  At least one has to desire to continue living on some level in order to live, right?  And there goes the suffering and struggles that come along with desiring to live.  I guess Buddhism is about not being concerned with material gratification and that everything in this material life is pointless. So, true Buddhists should relinquish their desire to live and end their lives?  But then, is there still some sort of desire for some sort of ultimate enlightenment that will be achieved in a world beyond this material life? 

old thoughts and new thoughts

Perhaps my title is silly as new thoughts always contain some component of old thoughts.  Part of trying to be an academic is attempting to isolate various strands of thought and thought-processes in order to really get to the core of how each component idea came about.  In this process of attempted objective analysis, one can begin to lose touch with one’s own life as a person in this society.  Therein lies the great irony of being a social scientist.  In order to study human behavior and societal processes, we try to remove our bias by removing ourselves as being part of the equation of society.  Taken to an extreme, social scientists can almost entirely lose grasp of his/her personalized understanding, in which case it is almost like the person loses his/her existence in society.  Instead of being a participating agent, the social scientist can take on a ghost-like existence, observing society without affecting what is being observed by essentially rendering themselves invisible and unaffected by earthly processes.