Blog #32, The Four Noble Truths & The Eightfold Path.
In this post you will a path of Self-Improvement with which you may resonate. This philosophical guidance has been my guide for many years, and I offer it to anyone who may benefit from this knowledge.
Gautam Siddhartha, otherwise known as The Buddha (the Enlightened One) gave the world two gifts, about 2,500 years ago;
- The Four Noble Truths
- The Eight-fold Path
The Four Noble Truths are (with some of my own commentary);
- The Truth of suffering (Dukkha) is caused by the desire of people to find ultimate satisfaction from all physical phenomena. This includes material wealth (money and possessions), relationships with people, and suitable geographical locations. Suffering is caused by not acknowledging that everything in the phenomenal world, the physical world, is temporary and impermanent.
- The Truth of The Origin of Suffering is in craving and clinging to what is pleasurable, and the aversion to what is not pleasurable, without learning the lessons offered in this life. This has everything to do with Karma, Re-incarnation, in continuing the cycle of life and death.
- The Truth of The Cessation of suffering is in releasing the craving and clinging to pleasure. This naturally allows one to flow with life, and supports the fulfilment of the individual. When suffering ceases and consciousness increases to that state of Enlightenment, the result is that the continuous cycle of birth and death no longer continues, and freedom from the shackles of physical existence is the natural result. This is worthy of far deeper discussion, because many do not understand the reality of death, and as a direct consequential do not know the reality of life either.
- The Truth of The Path of Liberation from Suffering is possible by following the Noble Eightfold Path – namely, by behaving in a decent way, cultivating self-discipline (appropriate choice of thoughts, words and actions), practicing Mindfulness, and by Meditating. This can put an end to craving, clinging to all that which is impermanent, not living in the now moment, and ending the cycle of birth and death (re-incarnation). This results in a life of complete satisfaction, fullness, well-being, fulfilment, prosperous abundance, and joy. This is also worthy of deeper discussion, because few really understand the mechanics and attributes of Mindfulness, Meditation techniques, and any other technique and modality that may help the aspirant improve themselves and raise their consciousness (expanding their conscious awareness)
The Eightfold Path
- Right View: This pertains to perception and conscious awareness. The right view is not necessarily only your view, or only anyone else’s. It can be a mixture of everyone’s view. It is that which is for the highest good of everyone. It precludes being in judgement of another person or object. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said: ‘Knowledge is Structured In Consciousness.” This means that as you raise your consciousness/expand your conscious awareness, your knowledge increases spontaneously!!!
- Right Intention: Such is to be for your highest good, and for the highest good of everyone else, and our entire planet. This means that you are required to see as much of the Big Picture as you can. This is your responsibility. Find the means to achieve this. Meditation, Mindfulness, Positive Affirmations, Associating with like minded/Hearted people are all good modalities to help facilitate Right Intention.
- Right Speech: It is your responsibility to wisely choose the words you utter. All spoken words are the result of your thoughts. Both of which are energy forms, which go out into your environment and have an impact. Be sure such impact is positive. Cease all gossiping, and use your thoughts and speech for the highest good. That means praising the good in others, and encouraging others to do so by your example.
- Right Action: All action will either be constructive or destructive. Make the positive choice, and let all your actions serve yourself and all others for the highest good.
- Right Livelihood: Choose to perform your work according to what is your joy, and then it will no longer be work. Follow You Bliss (Joseph Campbell)!
- Right Effort: Let your effort be effortless, which means that you flow with Universal Creative Intelligence. This Universal, innate intelligence is your guide. Attune to it! I was told when I was young, to work hard, and if I did not succeed, to work even harder. This was poor advice, because I later learned that it was far better for me to ‘work smarter.’ This means to be mindful of Bio-Feedback from Universal Creative Intelligence (some call this God) and work within Natural/Universal Law. The result is to be able to operate with Universal Synchronicity. This is Smart. Intense effort is unnecessary and counter-productive!
- Right Mindfulness: This is my favourite of all. Be aware of everything within you and outside of you. This takes practice, and is easily developed. Start with intent, and then go on walking meditations, whereby you choose to be aware (mindful) of sensations within and outside of your body, also your thoughts and feelings. You can also do this in a sitting meditation.
- Right Concentration: I choose to regard this as putting your attention on something, as the act of concentration implies effort. When applying your attention to something, anything, do so with purposeful, unwavering intent. I have been meditating with the Transcendental Meditation Technique since 1971, and was made a teacher of the technique by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1976. I have also learned various other meditation techniques, purely for a comparison, while furthering my knowledge, and have remained with TM until today. Understanding the process and function of the mind, even in simplistic terms will help you to understand the difference between concentration, day-dreaming, and cultivating the access to the Source of Thought. This is beyond the general understanding of concentration. You can read much more about this in my e-book, Meditation, Yoga & Breathing. For more information on this book, and my other books, please visit my website, https://www.anthonyaltmanbooks.com .
In consideration of all the information set out above, here is my understanding, my comments and recommendations;
- In order to make your positive mark in the, ‘Here and Now Moment of your life,’ choose a likely ‘Intent.’ Such would be what you want in life, what you want to be. It is all about you, and no-one else. When a sufficient number of people are doing this, the combined energy will support positive change that benefits everyone. You can only change yourself, and none other. This is in accord with scientific discoveries, according to the Theories of Fractal and String, and a continuing understanding how the ‘one’ affects the ‘many.’ You can, and do, make a difference, whether it is perceptible to you or not!
- Be Mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. Start the process of changing learned beliefs and patterns of behavior that no longer serve you. There are many techniques and modalities, which you can find on the internet. I have also described many of them in my twenty books which can be seen on my website. This is a good time to start healing and resolving any issue born of an imbalanced physical nature, or any imbalance in the mind/psychology, and within the emotions. Be proactive!
- Seek out other people, if you can, who wish to follow a similar path and support each other. If this is not possible, go it alone, like I have done many times. Avoid the harshness of distracting noise, nonsense and general life damaging situations, circumstances, thoughts, words and actions. Surround yourself by beauty. Place yourself in nature, whenever you can, and allow the power of nature to help you.
- Choose NOT to get sucked into the negative and life damaging dramas that may be going on around you, and which are now being seen all over our planet, in many societies, on many levels. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in that negativity. This will suck your energy, and is life damaging. It is far better for you to project a positive energy whenever possible. Act accordingly, with resolution (if possible) in mind and heart. Mahatma Gandhi of India told the world, “We (each individual) are to be the change we wish to see in our world.” This means that we demonstrate not by words, but by our example. This is the best way of teaching anyone, anything. Know that the change we see in our world today seems extremely negative, but, in reality, our Human Society is in the last throes of holding on to all the negativity we have been cultivating for at least 2,000 years (Age of Pisces). We are now entering into the Age of Aquarius (another 2,000 year cycle), which supports the well-being of humanity as a whole, and we are in the process of big change. This change is put into effect according to the Universal Law of Free Will, of which each one of us are a part. Our choice will dictate whether the change is smooth or violent. We do see the violence, and this tells us that too many support this violence, and, even more importantly, TOO FEW OF US are supporting harmony, love, well-being, strength and courage, prosperous abundance for all (meaning sufficient food, a place to live and a bed to sleep in, as basic prosperity), and justice. Do you see the mechanics of change and how you and I can effect change in a positive way?? Change is necessary to allow the break-up of all those systems, attitudes, methods, and institutions that no longer serve humanity and this planet as a whole, for the highest good. This is why we are in the process of change. How we do it, and how long it takes is up to you and me, and many more like us. This is the time for positive action of our intent. Are you with us? Will you engage in this planetary change with a positive mind, loving heart, inner strength and fortitude, and a desire for positive change for the highest good of all?
- This is the Numerological number of transformation, and it is the last point/recommendation I wish to make. I urge you, I counsel you, I recommend that you start, if you have not already done so, to develop your great and incredible human potential. As current humans, according to science, we are using about 5-10% of our mental potential, we see about 5% of the light spectrum, and we only hear part of the sound spectrum. This is quite a shock! But, we are all in the same boat, more or less. Some people are more developed than others, and others are less developed. This is all a matter of CHOICE. If you really want to be your full potential as a Human Being, then it is for you to choose that path that will help you achieve that. The responsibility for your level of consciousness/conscious awareness is entirely and ONLY YOURS! Check out what a genuine hologram is. You will note that if you cut a very small piece off the holographic picture, you will find, using a microscope, if necessary, the entire picture is contained within the small piece you cut off. Our physical creation is believed to be a hologram (I believe it also), and which is now supported by ongoing scientific discoveries (Higgs Bosun and the ‘God’ particle), and each one of us is a tiny fragment, of the whole, yet within us is contained the universe. This is how powerful you really are at your source. If you accept this, then, “Perform Thy Allotted Task While It Yet Day,” (Dr. Samuel Johnson), and let that task be for your highest good, and the highest good of all others and our beloved planet. The time is NOW!
Few people understand what consciousness/conscious awareness is. Here is an explanation:
Please place yourself, while standing, against a wall, so that your nose is just about touching the wall. Without moving your head note your field of visual perception. Then, take one step backwards, and again note your visual perception of the wall. You will notice that your visual perception has increased a great deal. The concept of stepping backwards is akin to raising your consciousness/expanding your conscious awareness, so that your perception, visual, mental, emotional, and even physical attributes may increase in accord with your attainment, in a natural manner.
Anthony Altman, 23rd July, 2020