The Buddha Left A Code
The word ‘code’ means secrecy,
and also instruction.
The code of the Buddha is the profound instruction, “Don’t take my word for it; see and test for yourself”.
A secret – from the Latin secretus, separate, to set apart – is something not commonly known, ie a mystery. To non-practitioners, life is a mystery. To actual practitioners, it isn’t.
When the code is put into practice, we realise the truth for ourselves: we have taken responsibility for our spiritual welfare, and the spiritual welfare of others. This instruction is profound, and also poignant as it turns generalisation, theory and beliefs into direct realisation of nowness in this very moment.
Having received a spiritual instruction, we retire – set ourselves apart – in order to realise the teaching in actuality, leaving words and actions behind. The fruition of realisation is not commonly known, and so seems to be a secret, but it’s not a secret as such; it can be clarified through personal experience. It’s only when we realise the true nature of our reality that the mystery is no longer a mystery.
Throughout the ages, spiritual teachings stay the same but are adapted, not only for each era and culture, but also for each individual. Adaptation is a matter of addressing each new list of inventions that distract and dissuade us from realising our true nature; these distractions are subtle and seductive. Nowadays, the masters of technology want us to merge with machines and science, turning us aside from what life actually is. This is one problem the Buddha didn’t have to face 😀
The Buddha knew that we would rely too much on the teacher and the teachings, rather than experiencing consciousness for ourselves. This is why he gave the advice, “Don’t take my word for it”. This seems to be a contradiction to the way the Dharma is taught: we become too reliant on books, theories, rituals and the teacher. The Buddha knew that the teachings are already within each of us, and that all we have to do is clear away the clutter … and not collect more! We are consciousness, and we know what is obscuring this consciousness, don’t we? Attachment and addiction are the cause of suffering.
We have to acknowledge that these same teachings can enslave us when we fixate upon them, sticking to them religiously: even teachings on truth can be mere chatter if not realised on a personal level. All teachings are precious, but at some time, we have to let go of theories in order to experience and realise the reality of pure consciousness.
A code is a system, a law, that is kept secret until we have a foundation based on confidence. If we do not have a firm starting point, we may make up the teaching in order to enhance our ego and sense of self importance, and then call that being ‘awake’. It happens 🙂 .
This code is poignant – pricked by sadness. In most spiritual traditions, the guru or teacher is to be regarded as supreme. Many nowadays have some quirky ways, which students try to emulate, creating a meme and believing that they have to act in a certain way. They change their natural culture and start to act strangely, rather than letting the natural light shine.
This isn’t intentional, but it happens. Organisations go around in circles for stability. This can be frustrating and depressing when naturally-occurring aspirations and inspirations have to be suppressed. For instance, during teachings, we sit in rows waiting for the teacher to tell us something that we hadn’t seen before, or perhaps crack a joke, when we can do this for ourselves. We are naturally childlike and playful and don’t have to keep playing dumb. Some teachings work for some people but not for others, so there comes a time when we have to move on … or get kicked out! It happens.
When we test the teachings for ourselves, we may see or express differently from other students – or even our teachers – because our backgrounds are different. We learn naturally, sequentially and individually according to our capacity, and to something called ‘merit’, which is a build up of excellent qualities due to aspirations, intentions and a genuine recognition of the cause of suffering.
Of course, we are grateful to those who teach, and nothing will make them happier than to know that a transmission has actually taken place. To know that we are confident and joyful, and that life has become genuinely fruitful. For that, we have to let go and freefall in the spontaneous presence of whatever is presented by karma.
We don’t have to ask.
When the time is right,
we know it’s right.
We may seem unconventional
– and even be rejected –
but when it’s right, it’s a relief!