Few people find fault with the proposition that life is natural – that having a body and a mind is an aspect of nature – that all the vast number of working parts of oneself do work according to nature; that everything we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, think and feel are also natural phenomena and that they work according to natural conditions. Also we can’t actually find fault with the realization that things do go wrong and they too are natural – things like sickness, aches and pains, the bites of insects, extreme changes of weather and so on and all the endless ways the body can be assailed. Whether we like it or not or how much we struggle to overcome them, these natural events will always be with us because we don’t live in a perfect world. We have to acknowledge that both our internal and external environment is constantly changing – alternating between periods of peace and calm and sometimes violent turbulence. And the margins of tolerance our bodies have to internal and external environmental change are extremely narrow. In cosmic terms the difference between life and death teeters for us on a band of tolerance narrower than a razors edge. So it could well be said that this natural state of affairs is simply the way things are and that if we didn’t find fault with any of it then our lives would be contented and peaceful no matter whatever is happening to us. But we all know life is not at all like that, and although every single aspect of our minds and bodies are as natural a part of of our world and the infinite universe beyond, there remains, for us all, something seriously wrong and deeply troubling. Every atom and cell of our being arises and passes away just like every particle and form in the universe. That is the way of nature, yet what we experience as a central feature of our lives is that we suffer on account of it. There is no more certain a starting point worthy of consideration that there always has been and always will be suffering. It is a primary condition of being alive. And no matter how we may wriggle and squirm to escape the realization, I guess all of us really know it to be true. The foregoing is a simple review of some experiential facts no one can rightly dismiss as being untrue. But what suffering really involves; its myriad forms and all the astonishing ways it is manifest from the most mild to the the most extreme and horrific, only the entire history of humankind together with present everyday worldwide news can reveal. But at the heart of it all are a few deep-laid conditions which lurk within us all – conditions we are born with – conditions which shape everything we think and do. Simply put these are the emotions, moods and inclination to “liking” and “disliking” coupled with an ignorant misreading of what is really going on in our lives. Liking and disliking are conditions, moods, inclinations, emotions, tendencies – call them what you will – each of which has a wide spectrum of possibility of expression ranging in intensity from mild attraction and revulsion to lust and hate; to lust so all-consuming it can lead to excesses beyond imagining; to hate so fierce and sustained it can, in some minds, attain the status of actually having having a holyimperative. The permutations of possibilities leading to taking verbal and physical action on account of liking and disliking are limitless. Yet it cannot be said that they originate from any other source than nature itself. Such tendencies are, like everything else in nature, simply part of the experiential reality of being alive. In other words they are not what they are on account of the creative intervention or stimulus of any other source than nature itself. Only in their effects upon our world, upon others, can they be deemed either good or bad. In themselves, not responded to or acted upon, our tendencies toward liking and disliking are entirely neutral phenomena. Left alone, allowed to rise and pass away without interference, they hurt neither ourselves nor anyone else. So what then is the true cause of our suffering? As I remarked earlier: “Simply put these are the emotions, moods and inclination to “liking” and “disliking” coupled with an ignorant misreading of what is reallygoing on in our lives” And it is that coupling of an ignorant misreading and misunderstanding and the desire to take mental, verbal and physical action on account of liking or disliking which is the cause of all the trouble. In short, the trouble arises from the difference between a right view and a wrong view of what is really happening in our lives. Now if that simply-stated proposition were really simple to understand then the Buddha would not have spent forty years of his life explaining its meaning in 84,000 different ways which now fill some 34 books published by the Pali Text Society.
– I’ve been here before !??
– Weird at this time , somehow ” here”(*) is the only constant .(noticeable)
*”here”/ like looking through a telescope or somethig/binoculars , experiencing “situations of life” /Maya (the great Illusion)
**wherfrom? from the nothing/ONE/0/ the whole
time doesen exist. Or not as “we”perceive it…***
The Wholesome and the Unwholesome
-. “When, friends, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma.
-. “And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome.
-. “And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome.
-. “And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; non-covetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome.
-. “And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hate is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome.
-. “When a noble disciple has thus understood the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”
“When a noble disciple has thus understood the taints, the origin of the taints, the cessation of the taints, and the way leading to the cessation of the taints, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit ‘I am,’ and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma.”
“There is an unborn, an unmade, an unconditioned, an uncreated. If there were not, no escape would be possible from the world of the born” BuddhaSo it might well be said that it’s not death we should be afraid of. Instead, it might be better to be scared of being born.