Science News’ Kids own up to ownership, shows that science has come another step closer to proving a key part of Buddha’s Second Noble Truth, “… the illusion of self originates and manifests itself in a cleaving to things“.
The 1st and 2nd of Buddha Four Noble Truths are spot on in regards to the nature and the cause of our unique human problem. I easily began seeing this was so many decades ago. It was simply a no-brainer! On the other hand, his 3rd and 4th Noble Truths’ solution for our problem turn out to be far more subtle and evolve over time.
Basically, problems and questions are a good deal easier to identify than solutions and answers (at least on the surface). For example, if the river floods our town we can readily identify the nature and the cause of the problem. The solution is worked out gradually with as much patience and perseverance as we can muster. Even then however, the overall solution is straight forward—merely clean up and rebuild. Not so for our problem, otherwise the various political and religious solutions offered historically would have succeeded better by now. If anything, we are as far from a real solution as ever (1).
Answers and solutions invariably lead to still deeper questions and problems. Round and round we go; we are our own worst enemy. Our problem is internal and while associated to our sense of self, is not caused by it. The sense of self is innate and natural; it is the survival sense motivating all life to live out its days. Our ‘special’ problem is mostly due to thoughts of self. Thinking enables us to project this sense of self onto ‘my stuff, my beliefs, my future, my past, my life’. The kids in the article show how it begins with ‘my stuff’, and just goes on from there. Truly, the illusion of self originates and manifests itself in a cleaving to things.
I find the best cure for this is being as hesitant and tentative in thoughts, judgments and belief as possible. Chapter 20 offers another good motto for me as well: My mind is that of a fool – how blank! Otherwise, I find myself just going ‘round and ’round.
Here’s an excerpt of that article:
WASHINGTON — Young children are possessed by possessions. Preschoolers argue about what belongs to whom with annoying regularity, a habit that might suggest limited appreciation of what it means to own something.
But it’s actually just the opposite, psychologist Ori Friedman of the University of Waterloo in Canada reported on May 28 at the Association for Psychological Science annual meeting. At ages 4 and 5, youngsters value a person’s ownership rights — say, to a crayon — far more strongly than adults do, Friedman and psychology graduate student Karen Neary found.
Rather than being learned from parents, a concept of property rights may automatically grow out of 2- to 3-year-olds’ ideas about bodily rights, such as assuming that another person can’t touch or control one’s body for no reason, Friedman proposed.
(1) Although, the human situation may be improving slightly due to rising mean age of the humanity. The mean age in the teens during Roman times, and even up through the 19th century. Now, it is 36 plus in the developed world. An aging population is less aggressive and impulsive than a younger one which alone helps mitigate part of the overall human problem. Such a partial ‘solution’ as this is not of our making (religion or politics), but rather due to the water receding naturally.