Truth – You Have To Do It Yourself
No one has a monopoly on truth. No one owns truth. Truth is for everyone and is expressed to suit all types of minds. We don’t have to belong to this or that group, and do strange things. To know the truth is to just be aware. This awareness is being both aware of our programmed mind-reactions, and aware of the nature of awareness itself, which is an uncontaminated pure realm.
The Buddha said, “Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself”. This doesn’t mean that we make our own truth: rather, we use what we understand, and refine that. We employ whatever is available (stepping stones) to bring clarity – and therefore happiness – to our mind, while still being alert to the world in which we live.
As humans, we have different approaches to truth. Some use trust, some reason and some pure experience. Let’s take the mantra, OM MANI PEME HUM: To some this is engendering compassion, to others it is a remembrance of the six realm and six perfections, and to yet others, it is the pure experience of sound, appearance and awareness being inseparable from emptiness.
Tibetans trust more than modern people. Modern people don’t trust so easily. We have to know the pattern of our own minds, which is due to the environment in which we were brought up. As modern people, we could choose to adopt this trust, but chasing the exotic will merely create dissatisfaction and guilt, which is just more hope and fear! The Buddha’s teachings were never meant to make things more difficult for us: it is organisations that do that very nicely! 🙂
To keep running to a teacher, thinking that they will make us better without applying the method ourselves, is like repeatedly going to the doctor to make us better, rather than following their advice. We become hypochondriacs! Learning new strange names for our dis-ease doesn’t help. This only serves to create Munchausen’s syndrome: a mental disorder in which a person repeatedly feigns severe illness so as to obtain more treatment.
I’ve met many students who talk of their “monkey mind”, as if they are proud of not being able to do anything about this imaginary state.
We are not all inferior beings who constantly need to be told what to do. No teacher can end our pain, not even the Buddha. We have to do it. We have to recognise our pain, and see the cause of that pain, seek a remedy, and apply it.
I have had many teachers, for which I am grateful, but they were never concerned about my spiritual welfare. How could they be? They have to teach en masse.
On our death bed, we go on alone…
Thank goodness! 😀