Teachings Are Like Flat Pack Instructions*
…translated from a foreign language!
A flat pack is for those who either don’t have the time or don’t know how to construct something for themselves. The drawback is that, if we do not have the ‘know how’, we cannot put the thing right when it goes wrong. Flat packs are clever but not sturdy; they have a low tolerance, and are fragile and cheap!
Before we look at the instructions, we need to investigate the ‘thing’ we are dealing with, in order to get the general idea of what is going on; only then do the instructions make sense. We should do this because the instructions are often translated from another language and don’t always match up to our understanding – or that of the translator! They can actually be more confusing.
When it comes to spiritual instructions, we first have to recognise that that which is going on in our own mind is…to put it mildly…uncomfortable. If we spend most of our time justifying our ideas, this reveals that we lack the generosity of compassion: this misunderstanding expresses itself in the arrogance that drives us.
If we have not honestly experienced this ‘discomfort’ in the mind, the instructions (teachings) will just remain theory, and we won’t be able to be of any practical use to anyone.
Unless we have suffered, we cannot have real empathy. If we’ve merely been to a college, study group or monastery, we will have limited worldly experience of how and why an individual may be suffering, and will only be able to rely on text (the instruction manual).
The more we acknowledge that we are seeing through distorted eyes, and are confused, distracted, selfish and a little arrogant, the quicker we will arrive at our destiny and engage in honest, compassionate activity. Why? Because we are aware and conscious of the mind’s games.
Instructions much match the needs of the people or situation. Being able to adapt the environment and be of benefit is the study of ergonomics. If people have the habit of locking their keys inside their car, then designing a method to lock the door from the outside – as in a remote fob – is beneficial, and the problem no longer arises.
We have to adapt the environment in order for the environment to adapt to us. The teacher must adapt to the students in order for the students to adapt to the teacher, otherwise; it’s merely monkey see, monkey do.
The science of making the environment fit the user.
The study of person’s efficiency in ‘their’ working environment.
*Flat pack: Ready-to-assemble furniture that requires customer assembly.
Note: Dictionary definitions are used in this blog in order to be as accurate as possible. There are 117 countries reading it, and English may not be their first language.