A muse has bestowed upon me the gift of an insight and after much pondering I am ready to write about it. 😉 I haven’t posted anything philosophical or spiritual for a while as most of my recent musings have been more of the internal, reflective type. That still really isn’t much of an excuse for not sharing. I believe that I should express myself and share what my developing consciousness has to offer because if not, how could I ever be true about myself? After struggling with the words to begin, I am finally ready.
Life as we know it is an illusion.
An awesome way to start, right? It seems so dramatic, I love it. 😉 Actually in truth, it’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds. I am not going to talk about aliens imprisoning humans and placing us in computer created alternate realities just so they can eat us later. Nothing quite so Matrix-y. Although what I do have to say is still pretty serious. Our comprehension of life is definitely flawed. Humans have allowed their minds to triumph over the true joy of living. Most of us are possessed by our egos, the voice in our heads that is constantly in conflict with life. Who would have ever thought that we may be thinking about life too much instead of actually living it?
We humans live a seemingly complex life. I stress ‘seemingly’ because life is in fact simple. We view the very essence of our existence as though it was bagged down by constant constraints and complications. In reality, it’s all in our minds. So no more worries, right? For most people, life is the persistent struggle of gaining and losing. We try to reach some form of fulfillment or satisfaction through our power or possessions. Our struggles are futile. We will never feel fulfilled and will constantly seek more as a means to remedy our feeling of being incomplete. This is because material possessions and delusions of power cannot complete us. They are mental baggage and slowly pollute our Spirit. Only living in harmony with life, and not fighting it, will we be fulfilled and experience true joy, not the illusion we are familiar with.
The central goals of Buddhism are to achieve Nirvana (spiritual enlightenment) and to eliminate suffering. Suffering means that pain is inevitable in life. Birth is painful, sickness is painful, aging is painful, and death is painful. It is painful to experience unhappiness and displeasure; it is painful to want something and not be able to have it; it is painful to have something and lose it; it is painful when a pleasurable experience ends. This is suffering, the conflict our ego constantly puts us through. It does not accept the inevitable pain of life and constantly fights it, causing us to suffer.
If you have finally just realized that you have suffered your entire life, than you are probably in a pretty pessimistic mood right now. But never fear! Suffering is of the ego, but the ego is not of awakened life. 😉 This means there is a way to eliminate suffering and truly experience the joy of life through achieving Nirvana, awakening, or reconnecting with God.
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are a way of approaching suffering. They are as followed:
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment (ego).
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable (Nirvana) (God)
4. The path to the cessation of suffering (Eight-fold Noble Path)
The Eight-fold path is the path to end suffering- a gradual path of self improvement and finding God. It is as followed:
1. Correct thought: avoiding covetousness, the wish to harm others and wrong views (like thinking: actions have no consequences, I never have any problems, there are no ways to end suffering etc.)
2. Correct speech: avoid lying, divisive and harsh speech and idle gossip.
3. Correct actions: avoid killing, stealing and sexual misconduct
4. Correct livelihood: try to make a living with the above attitude of thought, speech and actions.
5. Correct understanding: developing genuine wisdom.
(The last three aspects refer mainly to the practice of meditation:)
6. Correct effort: after the first real step we need joyful perseverance to continue.
7. Correct mindfulness: try to be aware of the “here and now”, instead of dreaming in the “there and then”.
8. Correct concentration: to keep a steady, calm and attentive state of mind.
Nirvana is not a place like heaven, but rather an eternal state of being. I consider it to be another name for God, Goddess, Spirit, Love, etc. It is the end of suffering; a state where there are no desires, and individual consciousness comes to an end. Realization that we are all one spirit connected through God arises. Attaining nirvana is to relinquish clinging, hatred, and ignorance. Its achievement entails full acceptance of imperfection, impermanence, and interconnectedness. It is true life. 😉
In my opinion, one of the most beautiful moments of life is when somebody finds that the truth they were searching for has been inside of them the whole time. Their heart is their own temple and they discovered it through their own means. They are truly on the path to uniting with God/Christ. I find that more and more of humanity are becoming aware that God or Spirit are much more a part of their lives than imaginable. This realization can come from inside AND outside of religion. In fact, many people are turning away from religion as a whole. This does not necessarily mean that they are Godless or sinful, just that they wish to discover truth in their own, more personal way. They wish to be free from dogma and pursue a more intimate relationship with their creator.
As more and more people accept and discover spirituality, the collective consciousness of humanity rises. Spiritually enlightened humans are becoming more frequent. God IS being discovered, even if it seems unlikely at times. As the grip of the ego lessons just the slightest among us, it will try even harder to corrupt our spirits before it is truly diminished. And someday it will be diminished. I guess it could also be considered the return of Christ, depending your beliefs.
Humanity is definitely on a path, collectively and individually. It is up to each individual to accept their part in the interconnected web of life and discover Spirit/Love in their own way. It is up to humanity as a collective whole to rise up and Ascend to a new plain of consciousness, to coexist harmoniously, and to eliminate the unnecessary suffering that constituted a false life. It is up to us, yet it is our choice to seek God and true life.
-Ival Ty Crisp