Reply To: The Bodhisattva Problem and questions regarding.

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Thank you Ikoren. Time I will somehow find.

You say something may be understood, if not sooner then later, through investigation and reflection, otherwise all suttas, recordings of suttas etc. could possibly serve no purpose. True. But how does that happen?

Certainly not by remembering and merely repeating suttas, chants and so on. Let us take the maxim ‘Attachment brings suffering’. Most refute this statement outright as negative and unrealistic. It is simply taken as ‘attachment IS suffering’. The absolute truth is that whatever happiness there may be in attachment at any time, it is inevitably followed by suffering. And that in the mundane sense only, not bringing in the Ariya truth of endless rounds of suffering that await beings trapped in sansara. But the first alone will suffice here.

There are not a few instances in the suttas where people, even kings, when asked whether sons and daughters, wives and dear ones in general bring happiness replied with an emphatic yes, and with an implied undertone (it seems to me) of ‘ What? Are you mad? ‘(to be thinking otherwise). Only when one has seen the reality for oneself through life experiences does a statement become true(to oneself). It has now become an observation. Real – not just words quoted from a book, ascribed to whoever at all it may be.

For that constant MINDFULLNESS is necessary (precisely of one’s experiences, both as one is going through them and also later on reflection), not constantly REMINDING oneself of the statement. In the end the connection between the two, and therefore the truth in the statement, will be evident. The statement is but a conclusion about the experience when it is all gone through ,not a substitute for the experience.

What if a lover were to declare: “I love you. But hey, the Buddhas say that attachment brings suffering, so I must not love you. We must part. Let us part”. Can that ever happen? Feelings cannot be denied. That would be denying the truth. They are the reality at that moment. Only later will the pain of separation hit, if not by one leaving the other, then by the death of one preceding that of the other. Then it is seen that attachment does indeed bring suffering.

“The buddha himself taught that each individual must walk the path for themselves and confirm its efficacy, it is not accurate to say one understands immediately upon hearing the lesson. Contemplation and reflection on the concepts lead to insight” Indeed. See whether that sounds different now.

I am not trying to win you over, Ikoren. Treat this as the experience of one person in particular if you will, to add to the many views you have already considered (I see you are quite good at this!). If nothing else, it helps to broaden further your perspective. What you make of the whole of it will be up to you and will in the end affect only you.

May you progress on the Path.