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

1 comment:

  1. I especially dig the last one, by Sumedho - one of the things I listen for in a dharma talk is if the teacher presents the Buddha's teachings as 'gospel' truth. I can smell a 'this is not to be questioned' attitude at 100 yards!!

    A human tendency toward accepting the 'argument from authority' fallacy seems pervasive in all spiritual circles. I wonder if this is due to the types of people that typically become spiritual seekers? Perhaps such folk have a bias toward believing, toward faith, and are even more unaware than most of their own confirmation bias - Bacon's 'great and pernicious predetermination.'

    I guess that's what I like about the Dharma - it offers something to those of us who view a call to faith as something less than compelling.