Life Is Personal Investigation
Personal investigation is direct, raw experience. In adopting others’ views about life, however, we can obscure whatever we directly experience, which causes confusion and conflict. Raw experience may feel uncomfortable until we become familiar with it; this is personal learning.
We aren’t here to join a ‘club’. We’re here to solve a problem by asking, “What am I doing here?”
To “join the club” means that we are in the same confused situation as others, but that confusion and conflict changes, and this is what is meant by ‘levels of realisation’. We don’t all see the same problem, and the problem behind the problem.
Families are clubs; religions are clubs; work is a club; activities are clubs; adopted concepts are a club … a club is an idea that we join, and then hit others over the head with it 😀 Our judgements are based on the club rules, and club members can become obsessive.
Obsession: late Middle English, referring to an evil spirit, from Latin obsess- ‘besieged’.
Being unenlightened, we are all besieged by an evil spirit of self or group identity. This false impression – this imprint that we adopted from our ‘betters’ for reasons of safety – is what makes life unsatisfactory.
We investigate by having a clear mind.
Meditation isn’t just being ’empty’. Emptiness is the clarity required for personal investigation and verification of the source of our confusion. The purpose of life is to know what and how we are, and then we can empathise with how others are. In this way, we can be helpful to others because we know what is driving them (it makes sense that this knowledge can also be used to enslave us).
Never take anyone’s word for what life is about; these words are merely opinions. The Buddha was an expert, and he said, “Don’t trust me; see for yourself.” When we are told to ‘trust the science’, who are we trusting? The science or whoever told us?