I am trying to understand the general, overarching message of EBT (what is the meaning of life according to EBT? how is life well lived according to EBT?) and at present my understanding is that life (the cycle of samsara) is something that, according to EBT, we should want to escape from forever, by not being reborn.
In this sense life is certainly considered as not being worth living (otherwise why should I not want to be reborn?). It is not something precious, but something you should want to get away from, fast, like from a house on fire. As AN 1-18 says, “Just as a tiny bit of faeces has a bad smell, so I do not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap.”
So how is this consistent with the idea that this path is also about achieving great happiness in this very life (as recently noted for example by @DKervick in another post)? My understanding at present (but please correct me if I have got it wrong), is that in order to attain the insight of liberation, you have to experience samadhi, which is supposed to be a very happy experience since during samadhi a lot of suffering (the suffering of the senses) ends. However this is a purely ‘negative’ happiness, in the sense that you are happy because a lot of suffering has ended. It’s a happiness in the sense of a relief form previous suffering. You need to experience this happiness in order to experience the insights that lead to liberation, but this happiness is not the aim of the path. It is a means to an end (which is insight and liberation). Because ultimately the Buddha did
not recommend even a tiny bit of existence, not even for so long as a fingersnap.
Would you agree with this characterization of the general gist of EBT teachings?