“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.” -George Santayana
A BUDDHIST APPROACH TO DISILLUSIONMENT
This whole world is a trick. It’s a fantasy land, a place to get lost in and a place where there are tricks within tricks. Beings get fooled by these tricks all the time. What is skillful is to see past this trickery into the reality (sacca – Truth) behind all things. Only a mind developed to the highest levels can cut through the veils of delusion (moha) and see into (vipassana – insight) the truth (sacca) behind everything utilizing wisdom (panna). To develop such a mind takes time as well as skillful effort, or effort in the right direction.
What are some of the lies that are widely believed in wider society? Here are some examples: ‘The more wealth one acquires, the happier one will be,’ ‘Without friends one cannot be happy and content,’ ‘Material possessions such as a big mansion(s), the best cars, boats, clothes and other belongings are needed to be truly happy,’ ‘To be happy in life one must become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer.’ Are these ideas, even followed by elderly people, really correct and true? Has anyone questioned these ideas to see what the reasoning behind them is; or are these being blindly followed by everyone? There are many other such examples that come to mind. The measuring and comparing of each other based on caste, status, name, lineage, family background, reputation, image in society, school, university, course of study, level of study and qualification, belonging (clothes, cars, boats, houses, etc.) and even personal appearance. These are all tricks, empty things; yet people are caught up in playing this game of chasing after emptiness. Why? Because everyone else is; they don’t want to miss out!
This is what delusion (moha) is. Everyone, from the young to the old, children, parents to grand parents, teachers and students, ministers, prime ministers, presidents, kings, queens, the common man and woman, are all caught in this web of craving (tanha) and greed (lobha). Blinded by delusion (moha), they are spinning the web around and around themselves, getting caught up more and more in that sticky web of craving (tanha) and getting ever more tightly bound to suffer (dukkha) yet again and again, in the never ending wheel of birth and death (samsara).
Why is this shocking to read and even harder to swallow? Because it is unconventional. It goes against everything that was learned since an early age from parents, school, peers, etc. It goes against the grain, to the point that it can be uncomfortable to the mind of a person who is so ingrained and caught up in this conventional world of delusion (moha). The Dhamma (teachings on reality, truth) is by nature unconventional and goes against the grain.
Why don’t most know, see or understand this reality? Because it is subtle and hard to see and the masses are blind to the realities (sacca) of this world. Also reality is not a topic that is widely known or taught; only a few know and truly understand it. It requires a Tatagata, a Fully Self-Enlightened One (Samma-Buddha), to lift the veil of delusion (moha) from the eyes of the ignorant (avijja) masses. Every-day friends, teachers, parents cannot reveal this truth, because they themselves are blinded and caught up in this web of delusion (moha). Only the ones who are fortunate enough to have been touched by the Dhamma can reveal these truths and take one ‘back-stage’ to explain and show one what’s really going on.
Fortunately the Gotama Samma-Sambuddha (Fully Self-Enlightened One) lifted the veil of delusion more than 2550 years ago. Not only that, he gave the tools for doing this for ourselves. The main tool in aid of this is the Noble Eightfold Path. This regime of self-training and mind development allows one strip off the mental dirt and to raise the mind up to a level where it can start seeing past the trickery that’s all around. It is up to each individual to take this path and do the hard work to find lasting peace and happiness devoid of all delusion – moha. So take the first step towards Enlightenment (Nibbana) today, the first step on the Noble Eightfold Path.
May you see past the trickery to attain the lasting peace of Nibbana!
Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara
See Original Post A Buddhist Approach To Disillusionment
“Architects of grandeur are often the master builders of disillusionment.” -Bryant H. McGill