I’ve been reviewing Buddha’s Four Noble Truths (p.604) for decades while doing my daily yoga headstand. Understanding these appears easy—they are short and straightforward enough. Even so, I plumb deeper meaning from them as the years pass. For example, some years ago the second truth, “The illusion of self originates and manifests itself in a cleaving to things” finally sank in emotionally! I viscerally understood — knew — that everything I held to be important in life was propping up my “illusion of self” – ego. While I’ve always understood this intellectually, I never felt it in my bones. Clearly, understanding and genuine knowing are different at some level.
I’ve always felt that Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and the core teachings of all religions offered plenty of life guidance. Having actions speak louder than words is the true challenge. Yet countless words are written and spoken on the core teachings. Honestly, this is symptomatic of our lack of visceral intuitive knowing. Simply said, when we can’t walk the walk, we talk the talk even more. I guess this is true of most everything spoken or written. We are attempting to convince and remind ourselves. I know I am!
Does this mean my writing here is symptomatic of my lack of visceral intuitive knowing? No doubt, for the odd thing is that I don’t know that I lack visceral knowing on something until I experience visceral knowing. Such epiphanies illuminate what I only think I know. It could all be a house of mirrors, one revelation replacing another until my brain drops dead. That fits the biological model of the hunter-gatherer: nature drives me to keep looking for something new to chew on. What’s more, gossiping about recent revelations is an essential and natural way for humans to interact socially, and that includes me. Ah yes… Knowing doesn’t speak; speaking doesn’t know #56. Now that’s humbling.
I must add that seeing symptoms doesn’t actually illuminate true causes. Seeing matters as symptomatic of something deeper tells us that there is always more here than meets the eye… and perhaps the visceral eye’s knowing as well.