There were many ascended masters that have come and gone. There was Jesus of Nazareth, Lao Tzu, Saint Germaine, and countless other prophets and truth-sayers. One of these ascended masters was Gautama Buddha.
Though many of the ascended master have not written their teachings, preferring instead to voice their teachings to their disciples. And no medium of recording (audio or video) existed then, therefore many of their teachings, written and re-translated, could have become detached or veered from the true essence of their master’s intention.
The Four Noble Truths is one of those teachings that have come from the Buddha that I think, in its current state, needs examination into its true intention. This is my own writing of how the Four Noble Truths could be re-examined.
This is my reflections on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
1. First Noble Truth: Life and suffering.
This is often written as “All life is suffering” and other versions that imply that life itself is suffering. I think it can merely refer to life as having inevitable suffering and not encase life as “suffering” in general.
I think the Buddha simply talked about the unavoidable suffering that is within life. No matter where we look, there are things in life that we may be happy about and those that we may not be happy about. Suffering in itself is caused by looking at the things that cause as more pain and suffering.
It is often translated that this means “to live is to suffer” and this is not the case. The Buddha was implying that as we are conscious into his reality, we adhere to its rules and that there are duality. The good and the bad, ying and yang, night and day, and so on. We adhere to this when we came into this reality. But not all of this reality is suffering, it is just part of the whole.
In the Tao, verse 27 goes:
A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is.
Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn’t reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn’t waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.
What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher?
What is a bad man but a good man’s job?
If you don’t understand this, you will get lost,
however intelligent you are.
This is the great truth.
The First Noble Truth declare that if we agreed to go be in this reality called life we will be faced with duality.
2. Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering is attachment.
This Second Noble Truth is one of the truths that may have been misconstrued. The cause of suffering being attachment is not the deepest truth. Attachments are labeling things as “good” or “bad.” This is not the problem in itself. Attachment is just the result of this labeling.
The deepest truth that most esoteric knowledge know is that the cause of suffering is JUDGEMENT. When we judge the things in our life as either “good” or “bad’ we construct this duality. Based on our judgment, we create suffering. Therefore HOW we judge things is the likely cause of our suffering.
As Jesus of Nazareth has put it: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” This is more than just a general interpersonal advice, but it rings true that judgment, “how we judge” things is the root of attachment (mostly created by others and mostly created by our ego) and is the root of our human suffering constructs.
3. Third Noble Truth: The cessation of suffering is attainable.
I think we can just say that this statement should read: “The cessation of judgement is attainable.”
I think this is where many of the teachings go on to proclaim dispassionate dogmas and others to end suffering. But now that we can pinpoint judgement as a cause of our suffering, it is pretty simple now what can be done to cease the suffering. We question our judgement.
Many current masters such as Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie have written about ways to bring forth ways we can face this question.
Byron Katie called it “The Work” and in her book she puts this inquiry into four questions:
Byron Katie’s “The Four Questions”:
1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Here is an example of Byron Katie using inquiry to examine judgment.
Eckhart Tolle also faced suffering head on and came to similar conclusions. His book “The Power of Now” and “The New Earth” and various others are enlightenment in a book readily available now.
“When you deeply accept this moment as it is, no matter what form it takes, you are still, you are at peace.”
– Eckhart Tolle
4. Fourth Noble Truth: The end of suffering judgment is contained in the eightfold path.
This is eightfold path is actually a great condensed lesson of many other lessons out there. And it is similar to the ten commandments and perhaps every other wisdom of advice that many other philosophers, spiritual teachers, authors, and others have said.
Here are thoughts on the Eightfold Path:
Right View: Our beliefs and actions have consequences. Death is not the end. (Note: The right view must include the inner-knowing of the universal laws of reality such as “The Law of Attraction” and others.)
Right Resolve: Loving kindness and adopting a spiritual life knowing that this reality is of impermanence. Striving to create a loving reality always. (As Jesus taught: “Love thy neighbor as thyself”).
Right Speech: Aim to speak of truth and be mindful of your words. Words can lead to judgment and suffering, therefore, speak with integrity and speak to lead to salvation.
Right Conduct: No killing or injuring, no taking what is not given. Action with the right conduct and integrity
Right Livelihood: Have only what is essential. Live and work in a job with good intentions for humanity. Lead and have work that benefits humanity not bring humanity down.
Right Effort: Be on guard to question your thoughts and actions. Meditation will arm you with the right effort. The effort is something that will require proper intention. As the Tao often states, strive for the middle path.
Right Mindfulness: Become more mindful of your thoughts, of your judgment, and of the true reality. Impermanence is the true reality and this teaching is to do meditations so that one is conscious and mindful of the now.
Right samadhi (concentration): This is more of concentration and focus. It is often translated as meditation and unification of mind. This teaching brings the idea of focusing on what you as a creator that exists in this reality must do. This could be finding your mission in life and concentrating on getting it done and living your legacy.
I hope you enjoy this reflection on the four noble truths and may it inspire you in your spirituality and journey.