We may embark upon the Buddhist path with all sincerity in terms of wanting to answer those inner, sometimes unformed questions. We may really want to know for ourselves what life is all about—why were we born? What is the purpose of it all? What will happen to us when we die?
The Buddha asked himself similar questions, and after some years of searching came to extremely subtle, profound, and liberating truths—and these were truths, not beliefs; they were self-evident, obvious actualities. The view of himself as an individual, as ‘this person Siddhartha Gautama’, dissolved when he saw beyond thoughts, and he woke up as if from a dream. In consequence, he knew freedom from the horrors of the dreamlike existence that many, perhaps most, of us are engaged in right now. His life then opened out into the immediate, the spontaneous, that which is beyond thoughts, beyond views and opinions, and beyond habits and shadows of the mind. (more…)