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16th March 2009-Thoughts on such a once more rainy day.

The circle is not unbroken. I have to believe that against my perception that it
might be.

What holds? Friends move more and more into complicity and maybe betrayal. The
world can seem that way. There is no round of ready money to support a better
lifestyle. The world can seem that way.

There are two models of seeing from a spiritual approach it seems. Perhaps it
isn’t about spiritual perspective at all but rather about intellectual
reservations. The conflict is part of samsara, where we find ourselves now.

There is….
The idea of ultimate provision in and by the Universe…the idea that our needs are
met through trust on a supportive “Overself”. Why then does it seem that so many
of my needs go unnoticed? The world can seem that way. It can seem that there
isn’t even a rattling of the door, never mind it being opened.

There is…
The absoluteness of dukkha. The bare reality of existence though I do not
understand its mechanics. I need to experience it. It needs to become experiential
more. I sense a more intellectual appreciation is not enough.

So then what do I believe? I “know” that something has to be believed in; that
gives meaning and puts a coat on the nothingness of chaos.

Yet dukkha is ,not so much a belief, as a reality. The dharmic view of things does
accord with experience. But what transformation is inherently there within dukkha
if it promises no more than it is?

The way out of dukkha is to embrace it, incorporate it. The Four Noble Truths are
not invalid. Indeed they are pointers to coming to grips with experience.

The Buddha talks to me of the three marks of being.

Dukkha…that dissatisfaction exists because quite simply one cannot hold to
anything because of the nature of change, of contingency. Even the need to project
or hope that the universe is benevolent needs to be challenged. Our very gods
mutate as the reality of dukkha is apprehended. This is experience. Why cling to
projections, of either hope or fear?

Anicca…everything rises and falls according to conditions and preconditions. Some
seeds bring vital growth, others are non-fruition. Even my inculcated Christian
belief that God is loving is subject to the precondition of “Do I believe?” And
yet why should I believe when God does not intervene? Like my thoughts my
relationship with a “deity”- if it exists- come and go.
Anatta… there is no enduring self. If I ask who I am …am I my thoughts , am I my
body?.. I get no answer because my identity is not fixed. Could I find that I
exist when my thoughts come and go and my body could be taken from me? And yet
when I make coffee or do the dishes, someone is doing it. So, I exist? I exist
relative to my perception that someone is making the coffee, doing the dishes.

A terrible truth, a terrible beauty found in being in dukkha. The existentialist
now. Gautama prescribed a medicine, a way out of mess. Will I take it, without
hope or fear about it? Be now in existence, accepting its pain?

“What did you learn from Enlightenment?” someone asked the Buddha

“Absolutely nothing but to see beyond delusion” he replied.

In dukkha we start, we end, we go away from it and come back to it. Here we learn
that joy and pain are co-dependent. The liberated path teaches us of this
paradox.

The circle is not broken though it may appear to be. The world goes on….

Copyright John MacPherson 2009