Saturday, April 04, 2009


Intellect is the ability to learn and reason. It is the capacity for knowledge and understanding. We don’t know much about the intellect of creatures other than human beings, but we do know human intellect is not boundless. It can go only so far in its reasoning ability.

If the intellect had no limits, the politicians of the world probably would have worked out their differences long ago, and we would not be frequently teetering on the edge of war.

There is something beyond intellect that is not dependent on learning and reason. This was late to be realized in the Western world, though it has been known in the East for some 2500 years. This something is Buddha-nature.

Now, I am not blowing smoke. I am not claiming Buddhism is a panacea that can end all wars and cure all ills. Buddhism is not magic.

If every human realized his or her own Buddha-nature, would all of humanity become peace mongers? Would everyone love everyone else? Would there be an end to antipathy? Probably not. The only things we can count on are our fingers.

An important characteristic of existence, and of the entire universe, is randomness. Unpredictability. Chaos.

Think of it.

Some learned minds claim existence is an ordered universe. But the order is what those same learned minds have allocated to the universe. If some new, chaotic phenomenon shows up, it is given a name, which makes it no longer out of order. And humans are once again comfortable.

As good as modern technology is in predicting natural events, it is a long way from being flawless. Science can say smugly that some time in the next fifty years a major earthquake will hit California. This is a great prediction, isn’t it? No one can give the precise time or date or place. That is because nature—and by “nature” I mean everything, including humans—is not ordered but acts by chance.

We humans like to believe we are routine in our habits. We get out of bed in the morning at a certain time and go to bed at a certain time. We enjoy reading certain kinds of books. We follow a certain eating pattern. We meditate in a certain place at a certain time. Such established patterns feel comfortable to us.

However, such patterns can lead to apathy and indifference. They can, without our realizing it, stifle intuition.

In the corporate world, management periodically shuffles the location of employees’ work places. Desks are rearranged, office spaces are reorganized. This is not done to provide employees with better lighting or cleaner air. It is done to keep people from feathering cozy nests and settling into them too deeply. Cozy nests can lead to complacency.

When people become too self-contented they become anesthetized. They lose their inherent ability to live intuitively and instinctively. They obscure their Buddha-nature.

Beyond all description, beyond all thought, beyond intellect, there is knowing. Knowing is awareness. Awareness is instinctive because we are born with this faculty. Awareness is Buddha-nature.

Contrary to all that is natural, everything has Buddha-nature but life forces humans to subdue it. To realize our Buddha-nature we have to get around everything we have learned intellectually that tends to hold down our inborn Buddha-nature.

Think of that.

It’s crazy that we first use our intellect to learn to live, and then we have to unlearn intellectual matters in order to really live.

We have to go beyond intellect. We have to realize our Buddha-nature.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank you very much, dear author, for this post.
I appreciate the discourse on the phenomenon of thought. It is, I think, a crucial sort of discourse - it´s the discourse on the nature of our ability to go about a discourse itself.
Because language is manifested in the brain, in the intellectual dimension, it can only go so far.
The ("logical") conclusion is the ending layer. But wherever there is logical conclusion, there is also linguistic dance; the ongoing layer. One cannot really come to a conclusion - thoughts keep on spinning and being there, on the intellectual dimension, dancing (until we die). How serious are we going to take them, regarding the fact that their absence once meant bliss when we were young?
In other words: what´s my compass - brain or heart?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 10:16:00 AM  

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