Tuesday, 4 December 2012

What to Believe

            We come from many backgrounds: many paths, teachers, books, opinions, ideas, and facts. Sometimes I wonder, of all the things I’ve been through which one makes the most sense?

            Sometimes we get very confused. Sometimes we don’t get confused at all. Sometimes everything is very, very clear. Other times nothing at all is clear. And this is life!

            We have so many religions. Sometimes I wonder, was a religion made by humans for us to have something to believe in? Does a religion come down from That that we can’t speak about and it makes us feel good? Does it come from both places?

            Is there a difference between the religions and the teachings of the beings that started these religions? There are many, many differences between their times and our time. I’ve looked at some of the things that Christ said and that Buddha said and that so many other magnificent beings said. The things that they said and the things that they did are very different from some of the religions that we have now which are supposedly based on these beings. It makes me wonder.

            Then we have concepts such as free will, karma, and predestination. I wonder about these things. The way we think about all these things makes a big, big difference in how we experience our lives. And we have many teachers that have spoken on these subjects.

            Then we have our daily lives, we have personality and self, and we have the word enlightenment. We have many things to consider. So when I’m here to talk about things that cannot be spoken about, which one of these things do I start on first? Which one of these things is more important?

            We also have the desire to continue. If we are honest with ourselves, I think most beings want to continue. When we hear someone say there is nothing to continue, we have a problem.

            Then if we have emptiness, what is emptiness? What is nothingness? Can something be nothing? The Buddha talked about having fullness in nothingness. How can we have fullness in nothingness? So—there are a lot of questions!

            What do we do with these questions? We can decide that we’re going to follow some kind of a path that has definite answers to these questions. If that’s our choice we can explore something that gives definite answers to any one of these topics. If we feel comfortable with those particular answers then we can follow this path, and we can move on within it. That’s one choice.

            Another choice is that we have no choice. Everything is predestined and therefore there is nothing we can do about anything—period. So there is nothing to do.

            A third choice is that there is nothing to follow as far as the absolute is concerned, but much to do in the relative world. This is very difficult. We have to take each one of the topics I just mentioned and look at it very carefully. We look at every one of them with our hearts, with our brains, with our experiences, with everything about us.

            We finally come to the conclusion

            that there is no one,

            there has never been anyone,

            who knows all the answers

            to these things.

            Is that good news or is that bad news? I don’t know. I think we have to be strong to take that news.

            Looking at all these different things and trying to find answers is the struggle I have had my whole life—looking at this and looking at that, trying to find out what is the difference between this and that. What is good about this particular way of looking at things and what is the advantage of the other way of looking at them? Trying to pinpoint the differences, and find something that made sense to me, led me to tremendous confusion.

            The reason I was so confused was that I was focused on the differences between all these things. I was looking at differences—as opposed to spending some time finding out what is the same about all these things.

            Is there something similar underneath all these teachings?

            we have to look at what might possibly be the same about all these beliefs.

            When we look at things that way, we start to find beautiful things that we like among all these teachings. And they all feel good! They all feel right. We don’t have to worry if something comes from this place or if it comes from that place—it just feels right! Then our knowing becomes much broader and is made up of all these things mixed together. Then we have no explanation about what we are. We are many, many things.

            But we still try to find some kind of a word or idea to express these things. Finally, we come to a conclusion that says there is nothing that can be said about what we are. Nothing at all. We have fallen in love with something we can’t express. We have a natural desire to speak about it. But it is something that is unspeakable. That’s the dilemma.

            Perhaps we eventually call this indefinable something absolute truth—or love, or consciousness, or god. We call it whatever we wish. And THAT is the essence that is underneath and determines everything else. Symbolically we can put That on one hand (holds up hand), and it will be the absolute truth of things.

            When we look at absolute truth,

            if we are honest and careful observers,

            we come to the conclusion that

            absolute truth is a magnificent mystery

            and it cannot be fully deciphered.

            It is a mystery beyond all mysteries and cannot be deciphered because in it are all the ultimate questions. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? How are we to live? What is our place in all of this? What created god? What created god before god? What is the universe? How many universes do we have? What am I? What is going to happen to me? There are always questions. Those kinds of questions are interesting and we can talk about them, but they’re the questions that, as far as we can tell with the way the human brain is right now, we cannot possibly find the answers to.

            So, absolute truth is a mystery.

            Something is there

            that we can feel with our hearts

            even though we can’t explain it or discuss it.

            Something must exist, when we know we are here. When we look at the sky, at the trees, at the stars, at everything around us and we see the magnificence of existence, it doesn’t seem possible that there isn’t something underlying all of this.

            When we look at the way we are made, the way our universe exists, the way our body functions, the way we have billions and billions of cells inside of us, the way we have a whole universe inside of us—how can this just be for no reason? So we have—That!