Truth Beyond Words

Do not believe in something because it is reported. Do not believe in something because it has been practiced by generations or becomes a tradition or part of a culture. Do not believe in something because a scripture says it is so. Do not believe in something believing a god has inspired it. Do not believe in something a teacher tells you to. Do not believe in something because the authorities say it is so. Do not believe in hearsay, rumor, speculative opinion, public opinion, or mere acceptance to logic and inference alone. Help yourself, accept as completely true only that which you test for yourself and know to be good for yourself and others.  

-- Buddha, The Kalama Sutta
Anguttara Nikaya 3.65
Sutta Pitaka, Pali Canon

You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can‘t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important. 
- Ajahn Chah

The Suttas need to be studied, reflected on, and practiced in order to realize their true meaning. They are not meant to be sacred scriptures‘ which tell us what to believe. One should read them, listen to them, think about them, contemplate them, and investigate the present reality, the present experience with them. Then, and only then, can one insightfully know the Truth beyond words. 
-Ajahn Sumedho

The Brain Separates Us

Thinking doesn't seem to help very much. The human brain is too high-powered to have many practical uses in this particular universe.

-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

One of the things that I've been able to realize with confidence is that we humans -- probably all living organisms -- are more than biological matter. I'm not coming at this from a religious perspective -- religions are corrupted and dogmatic. But, I am convinced that a "spirit", "soul", "energy" -- whatever one chooses to call it -- inhabits this carcass of biological tissue for the time that it remains viable. Whether this energy returns to the ocean of cosmic energy when the physical body dies like a raindrop falling back to earth or whether it continues after death is the probably the question that is most important to our ego that strives for survival. Yet, I'm going to put the ego on hold and simply address the interaction of spirit with body for now. This is going to get murky. As I sift through my thoughts, I hear so many words of ancient wisdom recanted to remind me that this is a sorting out process rather than one of original synthesis. It's difficult to not be influenced by what's already been written.

Consider a "light" body existing in infinite space that enters a material body. The light body would experience some changes in perception. The physical body is far denser and less mobile. The human body is dependent primarily upon five senses that that have evolved to perceive the physical world and a developed brain to convert the continual flow of data input into a rational paradigm of perception. We're a bit like satellites sent into a harsh environment with sensors designed for specific purposes. We can pick up light in a narrow bandwidth that we call the "visible spectrum", distinguish vibrations in the "audible range", detect dissolved and airborne substances with taste and smell, and detect the immediate physical environment with touch senses. It's a shame that we don't have sonar like dolphins or bats, or infrared vision like a rattlesnake, electric field senses like some eels and rays, or magnetic field senses like honey bees and sea turtles. Perhaps, Human 4B.3 will have these features integrated into its nervous system, but for now we are still manufacturing such devices as add-ons. Who knows what else we are not detecting?

The brain compiles the data, screens it, and mashes it into a view of the world. Naturally, it ignores the data that isn't represented and the ego only sees what supports itself. The output from our biocomputer simply says, "This is your world based on the data. Have a nice day." My point here is that we are operating and accepting our world structure based upon very limited data -- and, we haven't even considered all the phenomena for which we don't even have scientific instruments to measure. But, there is more ...

We mangle the data!


The personality is usually seen as that sum of experience which is layered on top of our true nature. It is the sum of pleasures, fears, desires, triumphs, failures, etc. expressed as a package to the outside world. It's not who we are, but it is often seen that way.

(This post is under construction)