Most of my studies of Buddhism are of a contemporary nature. One could almost say they are in the vein of self help books the way that Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh and His Holiness the Dalai Lama structure the message of the Dharma in their works. I understand the possible reasoning, as Buddhism is a 5,000 year old religion with deep roots, stories, rituals and precepts to follow. If one is to attempt to bring enlightenment and the word of the Buddha to someone unfamiliar, the underlying message of the principles are a wonderful way to do so, but for me adopting Buddhism as my faith, I find it important to know the actual sutta and Dharma talks so I may have the deep understanding associated with a student of Buddhism. So I am online, at the library and ordering books for my Kindle, expanding my knowledge and faith, and yes now I have questions.
There is a document called ” The Way of Truth” that forms a part of the Sutta Pitaka, and is divided in parts. It’s a very transformative piece that has me in my head deeply at the moment. I actually haven’t been able to move on because I am struck by its all encompassing nature that truly defines most people you run into and how you really are to respond to them. In some cases you are really to just cast them aside, assigning the moniker of The Fool to them. These parts talk about the World, Self, Thought and The Wise man, among other things; and in them I am also struck by the frankness and language used. I could almost go so far as saying the Buddha was reading us all; and it felt both enlightening and refreshing but strange and puzzling.
I often times have to correct people who see Buddhist as so passive, never with anger, fear and other normal emotions. It’s not that we don’t posses everything someone else does, it’s we have decided which emotions to express and nurture in ourselves. It’s not that we are being fake or denying difficult situation, or running from a challenge. We are actually challenging what it is to respond as one would expect and again going with the nature that really fits for us, which is a loving, supportive and transforming response. Buddhism as I have said is the hardest and easiest spiritual way of life there is, but being of any faith isn’t without its test and hardships. So with all that I have to be careful my own preconceived notions before I knew about Buddhism don’t color what I am expecting in the Dharma and from the Dharma.
There is a line in the part of The Wise Man that stopped me in my tracks, ” Wise people never feel elated or depressed.” Now I am not a wise man at the level most people, and the level the Buddha in these lines are referring too. In fact I have moments of wisdom but I am happily still on my journey which I love. However with that line I’m not sure I want to finish the journey if the end puts me in a state of blandness. I enjoy being a ball of emotions but I have to admit I do wish sometimes I could feel less. It’s not easy to feel everything, harder so when the emotions didn’t originate from yourself. I can come into contact with a sadden spirit and take on all that is emanating from them, usually as I am counseling in an attempt to remove what is vexing. Sometimes I am infected by negative energy that overtakes, and sends me to a place I don’t want to be any longer. But all I see in these situations are the lessens at the end which bring me joy.
If I am to believe what the wise man will offer me it is a state of intellect that I want and freedom from unpredictable emotions and feelings. It’s appealing but now I am feeling as though I might be stuck in the sense world too far; that I am enjoying Samsara. I’m vexed and in my head I know that if I was to be successful in becoming a Wise man these feelings would be explained and I would understand. I’ve really just written this whole post and as I come to the end I pretty much know.
Nirvana is a state of no form and all consciousness. There is no good, no bad, no sad, no elation just pure consciousness; and my understand of this is it also is all good, all bad, all sad and all elation. The Wise man is the last stop before Nirvana and at my level of understanding I can not use the words and notions I have in me to comprehend because I’m not ready. With my limited understand I understand this state of neither isn’t dissolving these feelings because it really is a state of all. That Om moment that just vibrates at all times and maybe that is what is scary because that is the end. No more birth and rebirth, no more deep conversations with my friends, and no more oatmeal creme pies ( so my current weakness at the store ).
I have never felt like this life would lead me to Nirvana. I am very much a realist and making my effort to step up my good karma and deeds for the next; but I would be lying if I still didn’t have hope I was wrong. I’m loving my journey and the steps have been impactful. So I’m torn if I currently want to finish.