Once upon a time, there was a young man named Siddhartha in a place called Kapilavastu. Siddhartha was a good kid, but an astrologer named Asita had told his father Śuddhodana that Siddhartha was destined to be either a world conqueror, or a great holy man.

His father was the king — actually, it appears he was elected to the position, but I’m telling this the traditional way for now — and he really didn’t like this whole holy man thing at all. So he saw to it that Siddhartha was raised with everything, from palaces to gardens to hot and cold running dancing girls, and he protected Siddhartha from any knowledge of unpleasantness.

If you think of Siddhartha as the child of wealthy Hollywood types, raised in Beverly Hills, you won’t be far wrong.

Siddhartha was so protected, in fact, that he was an adult before he actually saw a lot of the unpleasantness in the world. Then he saw, first, an old man, then a sick man, and then a corpse.

And Siddhartha said, “This sucks!”

Then he found out that he would also eventually get old, and sick, and then die, and he said, “Wow, this really sucks!”