I've been a member here before but forgot the username and password so signed up again. I've studied Buddhism quite a lot during the last years and in 2009 I was very close to declaring myself a Buddhist proper. However, I had a surgery and when I woke up from the induced sleep my convictions were gone. I have no idea why but it seems like it killed the fire.
Anyway, I'm here because I've yet again begun a journey of greater understanding about everything, and to better myself(haha see what I did here? Shame on me
). I feel that Buddhism could once again become a path viable to follow, but I have some unanswered questions from last round.
I've read a lot of books on the topic and I've spent many hours read online, but found no satisfying answer. This will be a deal-breaker for me, so I'm grateful for you input.
No matter how much I read about non-attachment I can't get past the feeling that if I am to do it properly I must give up pretty much everything and live like a hermit - alone from the rest of the world. I would have to give up trying to find a girlfriend(I really want to find someone to share my life with), enroll into a university, stop going to the gym (because hey, what's the point of obsessing over the form-aggregate), give up all my hobbies and then sit on my bum and meditate until I die. Feel free to call me silly, but that's how I see it.
I know that this is not the case on a purely intellectual level but I can't shake it no matter what I do. Any input guys?
Edit: I know that becoming a monk is really what Theravada encourages but I don't want to be that. I have this all or nothing approach...Edit 2:
After doing some deep thinking this whole day I've come to the conclusion that Buddhism is not for me. I have to let go, which is something I've ironically learned from Buddhism. I've learned many great lessons, including not obsessing over possessions or yearning for new ones often, accepting things that are beyond my control, living simple and not getting upset so often (which was a real issue for me - I used to get into arguments and discussions with a roaring passion). I've also learned to see what's important in life and what's not (and what to put energy into), and that is perhaps the greatest gift I'll ever receive.
However, what I cannot accept is that I have to renounce life or even parts of it. It seems inherently wrong to me and that a better way is to take the ticket and buy the ride, but be aware of the arising of both joy and sorrow and learn to accept it as an integral part of life. I see nothing wrong with either of them, they're just a part of existence (I've never really bought the concept of karma I might add and there is no basis for assuming that the six realms of existence is real - it's just blind faith(no offense, just my thoughts after much reading on the subject)).
Rather than shying away from life, like monks or devout laypeople do(they face another part of life, which I really do respect), I want to make the most of it. I want to make sure that I live a fulfilling and eventful life, composed of both joy, sorrow, pain and love ...that I can look back upon with pride when my time to die comes. I want to do my best to make the world a better place through hard work and much strife, something along the lines of what Theodore Roosevelt called 'The Strenuous Life'.
My way will then carry similarities to Buddhism, yet be very different. In the end I have to follow what I think is right, and I'm afraid Buddhism would only lead me into an endless cycle of feeling bad for not being good enough or practice hard enough (having wordly needs etc).
Buddhism has turned me into a better and more patient man, but it's time to move on. By posting here I was able to finally see it and not continue to cling to something that was not working for me. I wish all of you the best in your practice and I hope that the path you've chosen will be the right one for you.