What ground do you stand on in life? Is it the solid ground of your own incessant, deep and long sustained questioning? Or do you stand on traditional words, images, alliances, allegiances, identifications, beliefs and assertions traditionally handed down by another? So many of us believe in a God.
How many of us, have freely investigated this assertion to the point of a complete and actual understanding of the subject? Not many. We live in the educated traditional assertions of those who came before us, we never question to come into the light of our own understanding. We follow. We accept. We live in the shadows of another's words. It matters not, how wise, how holy, or how true a person lived, those who write words you come to believe in. The value in life is surely not in the words, which are merely pointers, towards something other than themselves? The word 'door' is not a door, and so how can the word 'God', be God? We are caught in words, our consciousness is a conflicting movement of words and images, beliefs, sorrows and desires, fears and a yearning to live differently than we find we do. And we find our security in holding steadfast to a belief in another's words. In one part of the world, we are educated to the words in a certain traditional scripture, in another, we are educated to find security in another. And we come to conflict over who is following the correct prophet in their life. We never question if we ourselves, may become like the wise men who wrote the words.
Surely, this is the only position in which we find true security, not living within the spoken description of another's understanding, and so living in their shadow, but coming into the actual understanding of our own lives? Words are pointers, to something outside of themselves.
There is an old story which states that when a wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger. When a wise man writes a text, the non understanding of us remain with the text, never climbing the mountain the wise man has climbed, and so never coming to our first hand understanding of life and death, for and by ourselves. Is this impossible? It seems so, this day. Can we attempt the impossible? It is one thing to listen to the description of the breathtaking view at the top of a mountain, and to live contented, within that description, telling others how wonderful the view is, based on what you have heard form a man who has climbed the mountain. It is quite another thing, to listen to the man's words and to climb the same mountain yourself. One approach is rather easier than the other, but far less rewarding. One leads us to our own life understanding, the other, to a life lived second hand, on the words and assurances of another. Christians have all been deeply conditioned to ideology of a security found in belief, in complete obedience to this principle. Follow, do not question.
It is not the same for Buddhists, who are educated to question everything, certainly including the words of Buddha. To never take for truth into your life, anything you have not found for yourself, to be true. This is exemplified in the words of an ancient buddhist text, which incredibly states the following: 'If you meet the Buddha on your path, best to kill him'. Can you imagine the horror of such a text, translated into Christianity? Yet, there is wisdom here, for in the speaking of such seemingly offensive words, buddhists are recognising the danger of accepting blindly the words of another, without first coming to the understanding of the wisdom which allowed those words to be spoken in the first place. Wisdom is not in words. Wisdom is not in belief. Wisdom is in meeting life freely, and from such a position, words may be spoken, in an attempt to communicate the delight, or the understanding of what has been seen.
We live in our accepted words, beliefs, images, we live on the religious assertions of long standing traditions. Usually educated into us all as children, when too young to question, too naive to understand the benefit of doing so. And these accepted assertions, become the psychological security we find in life. Which is no security at all, as we now divide behind the words of the accepted divisive dogma we have been educated to accept. And in these conceptual divisions, we come to conflict, battle and war. Life, the living principle, the creative energy of this universe, is surely not found in the written or spoken word, which is only ever a description? Does the description ever carry the living quality of the described? What use to live on the accepted word of a man of love, if you life remains loveless?
What use to listen and accept the words of a holy man, if your life remains incomplete? Religion is not a belief. Religion, is the transformation of a person's life.