Have I reached the point of right understanding? Right understanding is the first step on Buddha’s “The Eightfold Path”. I have become aware through studying the teachings of wise sages, philosophers and modern authorities on these matters. Now, answers are becoming clearer, the fog is lifting; a clear view of the mountain top is in sight. Or is this thought the ego crying out for attention? Realize the mind is vast, everything can be imagined in our mind. Like the tiny dewdrop can reflect all in its midst our tiny mind can see infinity. What we see in our mind is not reality; it is our minds interpretation of what surrounds us in reality.
Constantly reading and discussing spiritual matters can leave an impression on the mind. Unlike a foot print in mud that is a physical reaction to pressure. The imprint on our mind is caused by words that are an abstract representation of reality. What is seen is our interpretation, of what is there and is based on our past experiences from our personal view-point. The human mind likes to cling to what is pleasing and reject facts that are unfavorable. Consequently we have many myths that promote reincarnation or life after death in a promised paradise. Which myth appeals to you?
Followers of myths like to call them by other names such as belief, creed or religion. I have faith that my hypothesis is correct, as other believers have in their faith, although I would not argue or go to war on behalf of my beliefs. Religions and philosophies, regardless of their unfathomable parts, all have useful ethical guide lines one can follow to develop honesty, kindness and compassion. That brings with it joy and contentment, of a quality, that money cannot buy. I respect all spiritually devoted people and admire their art and architecture inspired by their belief. To sit in any sacred sanctuary, with a respectful unbiased attitude for your fellow-men, is a pleasure that the narrow-minded miss out on.
Part of “Right Understanding “is the realization that all things in life are subject to change. It is a universal truth, that all things in life are impermanent. Knowing this truth we then realize the futility of hording and clinging to impermanent things. With this understanding craving for impermanent things becomes less important. Knowing pleasures pass as well as disagreeable pain and suffering helps foster equanimity. Understanding the ego, the I, that always wants everything to be in its favor, is another cause of suffering. There are steps on the Buddha’s “Eight Fold Path” that helps tone down desire. The wanting drive that is the cause of much unhappiness in our lives. With right understanding it is realized that, in this life, both good and bad karma do bring like reactions.
I have not reached enlightenment. But I do have enough understanding to know the problems in this world will persist as long as people are intolerant of other people’s beliefs. Intolerance must be replaced with reciprocity. Hatred exchanged with kindness, if not love, misunderstanding being replaced by understanding. To understanding another’s views we must keep an open mind and listen to try to understand. Not listening to find faults and argue but to learn and see the other point of view. If you can keep an open mind you will learn, there are many things you can agree on. You may find some people will never see things as you do. This does not give you the right to condemn them as this would be arrogance on your part.
My ideas are formed but are still like unfired clay. When and if, I am satisfied with the pot I have formed on the wheel I will place it in the kiln. If you have fired your pot congratulations, I will not attempt to change it, to my liking, as it would only shatter it spoiling it completely.