. . . and the truth, shall set you free . . .
Buddhism and the 4 Noble Truths
Undermined and Under Mind
I shall explain, from the point of view of complete dissolution of the connection to ego-consciousness, how the 4 noble truths of Buddhism do not address the issue of suffering and it's cessation from the roots cause. Thus, while it can and does alleviate a great deal of suffering, it does not go deeply enough in the capacity that it endeavours to.
I. The truth of the existence of suffering.
There is suffering in the world, and it comes in many forms. All of nature endures suffering in the forms of physical and emotional pain. An injury to the physical form. A broken branch on a tree. The loss of a family member. An altercation within the species or across species. Flight from danger. And so on.
But, the suffering that Buddhism is trying to address is misunderstood because it is trying to be understood within the nature of the human mind. Mind cannot fully understand mind, when there is ego involved. My contention is that the root cause of ALL other human suffering – for only our species suffers from egoic suffering – is caused by identification with the ego-consciousness within our mind. Therefore, this suffering is somewhat self-induced across the species, is passed on from generation to generation and can only be overcome with complete disconnection from identification with the ego-conscious mind.
I know, for this is the state of awareness where I am writing from. Ask Eckhart Tolle, I am sure he would agree.
The Buddhist proposition of the truth of suffering is therefore a statement that puts humans, with their egoic mind, in a state of victimization to their conditioning and assumes that we lack the capacity to go beyond it permanently. Otherwise, anyone who studied of these noble truths and transcended them, would eventually not need them and would just live their life experiences, without need to label them on any level any more.
At this point in human evolution, having had an ego-conscious mind conditioned into a part of our being for very long, it would seem that we all do need to suffer with ego in order to transcend it.
It was not our choice, at birth, to have this ego-consciousness, just as it was not our choice to have two hands, two eyes or any of the rest of our physical and mental attributes. But, once we are aware of our selves, we do have the power to make choices about how and who we are. We can exercise our body and our mind, we can adapt our diet to be healthier than we started out life with within our family and culture's knowledge. And we can choose not to live with our selves!! Those aspects of what we think are our nature, our character and the way we think and act can be challenged and changed.
One of the most fundamental truths across religions is 'Know thy self', but none of them ever state what that is or where within our selves to find it!! It is beyond ego, and there is a way to get there by letting go of all identification with it. Once there, in a state of conscious presence, you are able to live and experience life in each moment as your unique self.
II. The truth of the origin of suffering.
The stated origin of suffering in the Buddhist tradition is ignorance, and this has a good basis of truth to it. First, though, we need to realize what we are ignorant of. For almost the entire human race, it is the truth that the conditioned state of mind of ego-consciousness that we have incorporated into our being has become far more of our focus in day to day living than we are aware of.
Therefore, becoming aware of this as the absolute origin of the majority of human suffering is of primary concern.
The origin of the majority of human suffering, therefore, is identification with an ego-conscious state of mind.
This mind came into being when we began identifying things outside of our selves as having use and value other than their natural use and value, thus allowing us the idea of separation of things in our minds.
(I shall be explaining the very origin of the ego-conscious mind and how it has worked within us all these years in another article)
III. The truth of the cessation of suffering.
Buddhism states that once the causes are known, suffering can be overcome.
I agree completely with the statement, but as addressed in the Second Noble truth, I believe that the Buddhist tradition does not identify the cause(s) at a deep enough origin or level. As stated previously, there is only ONE root cause of all other (other than physical and emotional) human suffering: identification with the ego-conscious mind.
This suffering is overcome with disconnection from this state of mind, and then life is lived in the moment at all times as the ego becomes used for what it is, instead of the ego state of mind using you and taking your focus off of who you truly are, beyond this suffering.
IV. The path to the cessation of suffering.
The Buddhist tradition identifies and eight-fold path to the cessation of suffering, but I see that this is a lot of mind trying to get past itself, which is very hard to to in most instances and practically impossible in it's entirety. The real paths are many, although similar in each of us, depending on our level of conditioning with ego-consciousness. Of course, awareness and acceptance of this as our current state of being is the very first step, without which no amount of work we do on ourselves (positive thinking, visualization, meditation, study, and so on) will lead to any permanent change of our state of being and the associated release from the state of suffering that we deserve to be free of.
So, regardless of what the path looks like for each of us, the only 'goal' is complete disconnection of identification with our ego-consciousness. The idea is not to be in a state of 'no-mind' or to 'empty the mind', but to realize that the self that exists beyond mind, as with all other life forms, is present in every moment and does not need this ego which serves little purpose except to keep itself busy and satisfied, at YOUR expense. Furthermore, in the conditioned state of unawareness that many humans live in, the consequences of almost all actions taken from ego (which is a majority of our actions) leads to some form of this kind of suffering within our species and across life on this planet – just observe the wars, poverty, environmental destruction and so on. It is ALL a result of us not feeling connected to our true selves and to all of life, for if we were in this state of awareness we would not be so inclined to knowingly cause such suffering, for that would be our own suffering at the same time.
In the end, thought I understand the Buddhist traditions ethic, aspirations and ways, I cannot condone the practice in it's entirety if it does not even identify the true source of suffering in the first place and instead places human within a place of ego, however slight. Ego does not want to rid itself of itself, of course, so the only solution is beyond ego.
Perhaps the Buddha did not communicate precisely, for words are often either lacking or perceived from ego themselves, or the tradition misinterpreted just as in other faiths over the years.
It is extremely difficult to listen to words from a mind beyond ego with a mind that identifies with ego, but this is our first step as a species.
The goal of living beyond this suffering is not difficult in itself, but the ego is going to put up a very strong battle along the way – believe me, mine almost killed me before I persevered and went beyond it's grasp.
Now, I understand fully from having been in that conditioned state and now as able to see and communicate from beyond it. My main focus in this lifetime has now become to live in this truth and leave as many pointers as I can to humanity so that we can each find our way there.
The truth is far simpler than Buddhist or many traditions have made it out to be, as we use our minds too much to try to understand that which does not need to be understood, but transcended.