|A bathing suit beauty used to sell inexpensive clothes is, ironically, not any symbol of freedom. But it is business-as-usual in the USA (americanapparel.net). See femen.org.|
|Waking up in a sleeping world|
- But as Engaged Buddhists out to save the world, shouldn't we forego this spiritual mumbo-jumbo and and help wake people up, at least help wake up America? The shocking truth is this: "You can't wake up someone who is only pretending to be asleep." It is not that they don't know how, or why, or what for. One can step into a cage and start yelling, "Come on, come on, everybody run, escape, get out of the cage!" Will they go and be free? No, they're like to attack you. But you can go, be free, come back, remind some. Some will see. Are you free as you point at the cage door that's actually unlocked even though it says locked? Get free then help free others, or get on a quest for freedom and offer mutual assistance. It's not one or the other. There is no wisdom without compassion no matter what anyone says or fears or call selfish. Be free.
- The Buddha, the teacher, is indeed enlightened;
- this Dharma, this teaching, indeed leads the one who practices in accordance with it to enlightenment;
- those who successfully practice it -- the taught, the Noble Sangha (adepts, lay and monastic practitioners who range from stream winners to arhats) -- in the past, now, or in the future have indeed verified it for themselves and gotten beyond all doubt.
|I'm not free but I have this nice shirt|
In a sense, it does not matter what is true or Truth. What matters is what we realize. It remains something for someone else until then. What is true. Three things are certainly true -- and by their Truth are liberating. They lead to complete freedom. That is why the Buddha taught them. He pointed out the Path to Freedom.
|The Path of Freedom (pariyatti.org)|
"Everything changes," but Truth does not change. That is because Truth is not a "thing." The explanation is technical: There are only two kinds of "things" (dharmas) in Buddhism, the conditioned and the unconditioned.
Everything that depends on conditions (components, supports, causes) is a conditioned thing. Everything that does not depend on conditions is an unconditioned thing -- and only one thing, one element, is unconditioned: Nirvana is the unconditioned element. In that sense it is not a thing like all other phenomena.
- If things are void, why do we pursue them? It is because we think they are full and offer the possibility of fulfillment. We think they are ours.
- If things are disappointing, why do we pursue them? It is because we think they are satisfying and offer the possibility of fulfillment. We think they can serve as the basis for enduring happiness.
- If things are always changing, why do we pursue them? It is because we think they are stable and offer the possibility of fulfillment. We think they will not let us down.
|The Buddha walked the Path and then pointed it out to others as he walked around India|
|Quest for Truth and liberation|
Wisdom (paññā, prajna, understanding, knowledge, insight) comprises a wide field. The specific Buddhist wisdom, as part of the Noble Eightfold Path to deliverance, is insight (vipassanā).
It is direct-knowledge that brings about the four stages of enlightenment (bodhi) and the realization of nirvana.
And it consists of the penetration -- the full realization -- of these three things: the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and egolessness (anattā) of all forms of conditioned existence.