Buddha is said to have promulgated the thesis that life is suffering. He didn’t. “Dukkha” is usually translated as “suffering, anxiety, or stress”. Admittedly, those could cause pain. Mental or emotional pain. However, we know from other sources that “truth will set us free”.
Buddha said it a little differently.
He implied that until we wake up, we’ll be unable to perceive the truth. And hence, we’ll suffer. But we don’t have to. All we need do is wake up. And there is an easy way to check if you’re awake: if you suffer, then you are still immersed in an illusory reality in which duality holds sway. On the other hand, once you wake up to the immutable truth that you are an immortal entity, you are catapulting yourself to freedom.
Yes, there is an infinite number of heavens.
So why do we have to spend time in this valley of tears? That, too, is simple. Heaven is for the brave. It is for those who dare swim against the current. For those who do not follow others but cut their own way through the jungle of material illusion. We are assaulted from both sides: the material side by science, and the intangible, by countless religions. Yet neither had been created unto the “image an likeness”. You were. You and I. Individually.
So, to repeat, why are we here?
Needless to say, there is a good reason for our embodiment. Although we, even as the rest of the dualistic reality (the visible universe) consist almost exclusively of empty space, our illusory body (mostly water and 100 trillion bacteria also suspended in empty space) enables us to experience the consequences of “missing the bull’s eye”, or, what the religionists call a ‘sin’. There is no ‘punishment’ in heaven, (nor for that matter anywhere else either), but at least here, on Earth, we can witness the consequences of our erroneous interpretation of the Universal Laws.
Here, and only here, we can accelerate our learning by observing the results of our labours. We can tell “good from bad”, or as some call it from ‘evil’. Of course, there is no such thing as evil. After all, there is a Single Source, which scientists call the Void before the Big Bang, and the religionists refer to as God. Hence there can be no evil. Only we, as individuals, can perceive what is good or bad in relation to its conformity to the Universal Laws. And those reside only in our hearts—in our unconscious. No wonder Socrates implored us to “know thyself”. There is no other source of truth for us than the truth that resides within us. Each one of us must reach the stage at which we affirm with total conviction that:
“I AM THE TRUTH”.
Until we do, dukkha will hold sway over us. Buddha discovered this fact some 2500 years ago. If we hadn’t learned yet how to wake up, couldn’t we at least learn to listen?
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