do not believe

Do Not Believe Everything You Hear or See

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found in writing in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~Quotes of Wisdom – 99 Buddha’s Quotes by Raja Vishuoadi

Do Not Believe What You Hear

Thee are several reasons to not believe something simply because you heard someone say it. Have you ever walked into a room where some people are having a conversation? You try to guess what it is about when you have heard only a small part of it. Later, you find out your guess was completely wrong. Or did you ever try the exercise in school where the teacher whispers something to the person in the front of the room, who then turns and repeats it to the person behind them until it reaches that last person? If you have, you know that what the last person heard is very different from what the teacher said. This happens even when you know what the exercise is about and make a concerted effort to be accurate. But the biggest reason is that just because people are saying something doesn’t make it true or right. Rumors often spread faster than truth, and with more believers. As the quote says, simply because many are talking about a thing doesn’t make it true. Then, of course, there are those things that are true but are none of our business. We love to gossip about others and look down on others, at least a majority of us, but it is unwise. We neither improve ourselves or others by gossiping about them.

Do Not believe what You See

We also know that the eyes can be tricked so just because we see something doesn’t make it true. One of my favorite examples of this is the works of street art that make it appear as if there is a great hole in the sidewalk, or a monster crawling out of the ground. It is all illusion, none of it is real. The pat so few of us understand is that even those things that are not intentional illusion nevertheless are. Virtually nothing in the material world is what it appears to be. This is backed by the science of Quantum Physics which teaches that the entire physical universe is but a hologram.

Do Not Believe in Traditions

If you have never watched the movie, Fiddler on the Roof, you should make the effort to do so. It is more than a musical about a poor Russian Jew and his family. It is a tale of a man who lives by tradition and when his daughters and friends start to bend and even break those traditions he has a hard time adjusting.

We may not call them traditions, but we all have beliefs that we got from our parents who got them from our grandparents and on back possibly several more generations. These beliefs may have been true at one time, but no longer are. Others never were true, but we have stuck with them anyway. We need to question them all. We need to be open to proof that what we believe is simply not true. Atheists cannot find any proof of God no matter where they look. It is not because the evidence doesn’t exist, but because their beliefs don’t allow them to see the evidence. If you do not believe it, you will not see it.

Do Not Believe Teachers

This is especially true of materialistic teachers. But even with spiritual teachers, we should only believe so much. If they try to tell you in detail everything that you will find in the spiritual realms once you have truly awakened your spirit and soul, they should not be listened to. These are things that no person, no matter how enlightened, can tell you. You must learn them from experience. The job of the spiritual teacher or guru is to teach you how to awaken your spiritual faculties and how to protect yourselves from the demons that are likely to be after you when you do. What your awakened soul sees in those realms should be open to your own experiences. And any firm beliefs you hold about them in advance will block you from seeing spiritual things as they truly are.

Do Not Believe Others

In summary, we should not believe the experiences of others, particularly in spiritual matters. We can accept that they had those experiences, but that doesn’t mean we will have the same experiences. We have to stay open-minded when approaching the spiritual and gain knowledge and wisdom for ourselves, not from others.

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pure experience

Pure Experience of Sublime Reality

“Buddhist philosophy, therefore is the philosophy of Suchness, or philosophy of Emptiness, or philosophy of Self-identity. It starts from the absolute presence in which there is no differentiation of subject and object, and yet which is not a state of sheer nothingness. … This Suchness defies all characterization or denotation. No words can express what it is, but as words are the only instrument given to humna beings to communicate our thought, we have to use words, with this caution: Nothing is available for our purpose to say ‘not available, (anupalabda in Sanskrit and pu k’u te in Chinese) is not to the point either. Nothing is acceptable. To say it is already negating itself. Suchness transcends everything. It has mo moorings. No concepts can reach it, no understanding can grasp it. Therefore, it is called pure experience.

“ In pure experience there is no division between ‘ought’ and ‘is,” between form and matter or content, and therefore there is no judgment in it. …

“The Buddhist philosophy of Suchness thus starts with what is most primarily given to our consciousness which I have called pure experience. But, in point of fact, to say ‘pure experience’ is to commit oneself to something already posited somewhere, and thus it ceases to be pure. The Dhammapada reflects this thought when it designates the starting point of Buddhist philosophy as trackless, unboundable, … formless.” ~Daisetz Teitaro Suziki

Pure Experience is Truth

Here is something that a lot of people have not yet grasped, even spiritual ones: you can never be sure that what you read in a book, or what you are told, or see on YouTube, is absolute truth. You have to accept that it is almost certainly someone’s opinion. Worse yet, it is often the understanding of one person reading the opinions of another person, who studied the writings of someone like Buddha who had actual spiritual pure experience.

I hear people in various spiritual groups on social media say that spirituality is about having your own experience. Yet when one of them posts a meme, one hundred others will re-post it as if it is a known and absolute truth. As the above quote says, anything put into words can never be absolute truth. At best, it can only hint at the truth. In any case, reading what someone else wrote is not having your own experience.

Every day I see someone in one of these spiritual groups asking other members to recommend books or movies that will help them awaken. These things can only point you in the right direction. Only experience of your own can truly awaken and enlighten. Once you have awakened your spiritual faculties, they can connect with higher dimensions of reality. The experience of those dimensions, the knowledge found within them, is the pure experience Buddha was talking about. It’s a spiritual thing, not a mental one. Continue reading “Pure Experience of Sublime Reality”

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Happy Accidents That Wake Us From Our Illusions

“There are certain happy accidents which have the power of inducting man for a moment into this richer and more vital world. These stop, as one old mystic said, the ‘wheel of his imagination,’ the dreadful energy of his image-making power weaving up and transmuting incoming messages of sense. They snatch him from the loom and place him, in the naked simplicity of his spirit, face to face with that Other than himself whence the materials of his industry have come. In these hours human consciousness ascends from thought to contemplation; becomes at least aware of the world in which the mystic dwells; and perceives for an instant, as St. Augustine did, ‘the light that never changes, above the eye of the soul, above the intelligence.’” ~Evelyn Underhill

Man screaming with anger over loudhailerWe are basically lazy, we exert ourselves only when we think it is necessary. We change our path only when the one in front of us is obstructed. If we are floating along a river in a rowboat and the currents are taking us where we want to go, we don’t use those oars at all. Only when the currents carry us in the wrong direction to we take charge and start rowing. We eat junk foods without concern until we get seriously ill and a doctor tells us we need to change our eating habits and start exercising also (yes, there still are a few doctors who do that instead of just handing you a bill and a bag full of pills).

And the same is true for our mental activities. Experts on such things say that most of us make little effort to learn anything new one we get out of school unless circumstances like losing a job or the company getting new computers force us to. So enter those “happy accidents” Underhill mentions which are, of course, not accidents at all. Continue reading “Happy Accidents That Wake Us From Our Illusions”

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