Last week I pulled a line from the Tao Te Ching…for this week’s meditation I will pull from Buddhism.
There is an old Buddhist saying:
“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”
No I’m not advocating killing holy people, calm down.
The point of the statement is that idols, prophets, wise men, philosopher are all in many ways more dangerous than they are useful to those that relinquish their mind/soul to another. The message of the Buddhas, Krishna, Christ, Lao-Tzu, saints, and all legitimate prophets has been, without exception, that God and the truth is in you and your soul—that you are capable of discovering and knowing the truth because it is already in you.
This line is important because we often forget that the truth is within in us. Forgetting it we look to outside sources to give us the truth. We look to holy books, and philosophers and priests and books and systems of belief to give us the truth. Ummmm…it’s not there. And using one book, one idea, one philosopher or saint as your guiding star makes you a fool because you are following someone expecting them to give you the truth when you should be looking within your own mind and your own soul. The truth can only be discovered it cannot be given. Thus, when you meet a Buddha, kill him (i.e., that you don’t get so wrapped up in what he has to say that you begin to follow him, and kill any instinct you have to blindly follow) and trust your own mind and soul.
Does this mean you should ignore what others have to say? No. Use the words and ideas of others to supplement your own thinking to give you ideas and to show you doors you did not know existed before. But always use your own mind/reasoning and soul to judge those ideas. It is the mind and soul of God; it’s more than qualified to judge things on its own if you let it. Just don’t get so wrapped up in what they have to say. Obviously I trust no single Holy Book as superior to another. For instance anyone who reads the political side of this blog knows I love Aristotle and Aquinas as philosophers…but I could tell you off the top of my head 50 major places Aristotle was dead wrong and twice that for Aquinas. Equally anyone who reads the political side knows I love the economics of Hayek, Friedman, and Sowell, but I can list numerous places where I think they don’t have all the answers too. (Some idiot recently even tried to say I march lockstep to Rand, which is funny given how much I critique her very limited vision…she’s fun to quote and has some of the broad strokes down, but that woman was a little crazy). My point is, probably even the wisest people don’t get it right 100% of the time…and that more often than not the prophets, philosophers, and leaders people follow so blindly are not worth following.
Now, what this means is you should judge everything you hear and ask “Does it make sense?” “Is it logical?” “Is it true?” and if not to discard it. Now we all get into the habits of disregarding information from known idiots and paying more attention to people with better track records, and that’s fine, just so long as you are open to idiots being the proverbial monkey at a typewriters who can occasionally say something correct and for those you trust to be occasionally wrong and willing to judge what they say by its merits not by who said it. And you need to trust that you are a divine being…are you capable of making mistakes? Yes. But it should not be your preset belief that everything you believe is wrong or that you cannot know the truth. You are more than capable of knowing the truth, at some level you already know it, you must trust you can know the truth, trust that you do know it and act on it. Yes be open to being proven wrong, look for the contradictions, look for evidence, listen to REASONABLE doubts, but you must assume that in lieu of those, you know the truth and must act on it. Are you probably going to be wrong on some stuff, yes. But you will never find out what until you act on it. One of the major points of life is learning and learning cannot occur if you don’t act on what you believe. The pretentious and fearful like to pontificate skepticism, relativisms, and existentialism—that you can’t know the truth, that there is no truth, that there are many truths—but guess what there is one truth in existence, it exists and your mind and soul are capable of knowing it. And the only way you will find it is to use logic, use reason, use your mind and act on your beliefs with the conviction that until you are proven wrong you are right. Be open to being proven wrong, look for the evidence that would prove you wrong in fact, but default belief must be that you are right. And judge for yourself! Do not let others dictate for you; kill the Buddha if you meet him on the road of life.
So this week’s meditation, sorry for taking so long to get here, it’s a dense quote (and I really haven’t even touched upon all it’s meanings) is to question your beliefs. Question why do I believe this? Is it logical? Is it in line with everything else I know?
I know this is a variation on last week’s meditation, but this is an important concept. You need to learn to trust your own thoughts and think for yourself if you are going to learn and find happiness…and if you can’t learn to trust your thoughts, what is the point of learning to control them through meditation?