How Many People Never ‘Know’?
How many people live their lives, die, and never know their true nature? 1 Billion? 2 Billion? 7 and a half billion? 7 and a half billion is the number of inhabitants on Earth to date. How many never get an answer to their question, “What’s it all about?”? Not getting an answer, they just live and die without knowing.
Seven and a half billion is the number of people on earth just now: over the lifespan of Earth, the total number could be 100 billion (?) humans not knowing their true nature.
This is why the Buddha’s teachings are so precious.
But how many people actually practise those teachings?
They are said to be as rare as a blind turtle coming up from the ocean floor once every hundred years, and putting its head through a ring on the surface!
We may read or attend teachings, but we do not know the truth of these teachings until we have investigated, understood, experienced and realised them for ourselves. Until we sit quietly and reflect, and recognise that the reflection is empty and that which is recognising is also empty, we will never understand. A genuine teacher shows us the way, and then we see if this is true or not; only then do we know. From here, the teachings can be refined from knowing to knowingness, where pure consciousness resides in itself, unmodified by concepts.
To be interested in and actually practise the teachings is something pretty rare and special. All humans have this potential, but how many have access to and can hear these teachings, and recognise them?
Now, think of how many creatures there are in the world. All creatures are sentient – having a mind – and if there is mind, then there is Buddha nature, an enlightened nature, but they cannot hear or practise the Dharma.
If reincarnation is correct, then we have been every creature that ever existed in the universe, and every creature has been our mother. Now, finally, we have attained a precious human form. Wow! That’s how rare and invaluable human life is. And that is considering only this Earth within an infinite universe …
To ‘know’ is to have come a long way;
this can now be transformed
into knowingness itself, pure consciousness.
If we waste this opportunity,
good karma can easily turn into bad karma.
“How far is it to enlightenment?”
When we are morally and spiritually excellent (which, incidently, is the definition of being holy), resting constantly in pure consciousness, then we have probably arrived.
Who needs a space-ship
when we have arrived at emptiness-ship?