No Faith in “Idea”

“There is global warming or there is not. There is social justice or there is not. There is a mundane form of freedom or there is not. God exists or he does not. Etc.”

Certitude over ideas, any ideas and all ideas, is a sign of the absence of wisdom rather than its abundance! If one was to place one’s faith in that only which is certain, then let one develop certitude over experiences, such which prove a point, whatever it may be, beyond the slightest doubt:

“Water extinguish fire. Summer comes after spring. Trees offer shade”

And so on; from the simplest, and gradually, not toward the more complex, but toward the more subtle:

“Samadhi is thus. Self-awareness is thus. A sense of conscience is thus.  Motivation and effort are thus. Deliverance is thus.”

Here, as experience develops, as certitude develops, as faith grows, and wisdom matures. They all evolve together dependent on each other – all starting from: experience.

The difference is huge and is readily seen: certitude over ideas gives rise to a rigid wisdom; a wisdom that knows ideas and asserts them as either true or false, once and for all, all or nothing. And even as it evolves, it must ditch the ex-truths, and replace them now with new ones.

Certitude over experiences gives rise to a malleable and continually evolving wisdom; a wisdom that observes experiences without having to declare any judgement about them, but only evaluates their origination, conditionality, impact and effect – thereby transcending their functioning through awareness.

The difference is further huge and is readily seen: certitude over ideas retains the psyche in the realm of Death, even as it exercises its ideation and conceptualisation over transcendental matters; it conditions the psyche to remain itself mundane and temporal, because exercising the attention in ideation is nothing but a natural, mundane, non-transcendent exercise.

Certitude over experiences on the other hand requires the psyche to withdraw from its habit of ideation – a malignant, deeply rooted human habit! Without any effort beyond the sustaining of attention over strictly what is experienced without identifying with it, the result is something of a transcendental nature that, precisely, words and ideas can no longer describe.

How no-self works?

Anatta does not mean that we have no access to bodily, sensorial, emotional, and cognitive functions, but only that we regard them merely as various “natural functions” rather than operations of our personality or ego, or as functions (or choices!) that are arising from any independent and conscious will or desire. So the idea is that they are precisely beyond our control, even when we wish to control them. This understanding allows one to grow increasingly dispassionate about every bodily and mental function, and thereby free from their emotional impact. With this understanding and dispassion, these functions begin to change accordingly and of their own accord, because they have their roots in “cognition”. In other words, we use human cognition as a capacity to subvert human cognition as a set of ideas, just as we use the same power of “reasoning” to formulate a puzzle and also to solve it, or to both invent a visual or auditory symbol and ascribe a specific meaning to it. All these functions are done by means of cognitive capacities, and that’s why animals cannot attain nibbana.

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All the Buddha’s Teaching (Dhamma-Magga-Phala)

The Heart that does not Blame

Like the bare soles of a wandering mendicant,
Or the experienced hands of an aged farmer;
Insensitive to the touch,
Unaffected by hardship –
So grows the heart
That blames none for its suffering.

Like the faring of a caterpillar,
Or the flight of a butterfly;
Free of cruelty,
Incapable of hurt –
So grows the heart
That blames none for their suffering.

Injustice & Freedom .. Through the Dhamma Prism

Justice and equality are such strange, impossible things; to the extent that, the more one is preoccupied with them, the more one falters, not only in their actual enforcement, but even in their abstract definition!

Not at peace is he who identifies “others” as the cause of his pain.
A blind man is he who is unable to see the suffering of all other beings.
Not free is he who searches & struggles to find his deliverance
in external forces, outside of his own heart.

The opposite of fear is not courage,
the opposite of fear is,
Amidst the great flooding of cruelty & fear,
compassion, & nothing else,
is Noah’s Ark.

How Simple is Paticcasamuppada! (The Hedgehog version!)

● Salāyatana (nose + olfactory potency) ↓
● Phassa (nose contact with odour) ↓
● Vedanā (pleasure) ↓
● Tanha (craving) ↓
● Upādāna (substantiating experience, now with another salāyatana, the gustatory) ↓
● Bhava (seeking: again, more!) ↓
● Jati (the natural consequence of further expedience and further being).

● Salāyatana (body, touch potency) ↓
● Phassa (body contact with object, the cat’s tail) ↓
● Vedanā (pain, discomfort, etc.) ↓
● Tanha (aversion) ↓
● Upādāna (substantiating experience, arouses spikes) ↓
● Bhava (seeking: not again, no more!) ↓
● Jati (the natural consequence of further expedience and further being).

& the great folly that is conditioned existence …