About truth

Truth, as an Experience of Reality, like something that happens, as an Event, is beyond all descriptions, beyond all symbols, beyond all words. In reality there is (established and recognized and accepted) a completely arbitrary relationship between the Experience of Reality and an external symbol, an external activity, or speech, or deed. Truly spiritual people Experience Reality and Understand that Truth (as Experience that it is, as Event) is not transmitted. Whatever they say will not be the Truth but only the description of the Truth, i.e. an activity on a completely different perceptual level, that of the intellect. On the other hand, people who do not Experience Reality but have theories about Truth (philosophies, theologies, religious activities, etc.) consider Truth not Actual Truth but its description. But remaining at the relative level of duality, of separation, of one-sided perception through the ego, of a “position”, whatever they claim will be a position among others similar and different. As much as they struggle to reduce a relative intellectual position to absolute truth they simply demonstrate their ignorance and obsession.

That truth is beyond all descriptions and all symbols or symbolic acts can be demonstrated. But of course, the uneducated will still take an intellectual truth as truth and use (arbitrary) symbols and symbolic acts as if they had real content.

To explain and understand this we will take an example from the World Religious Tradition. It is about the Buddha, the Enlightened One.

They say, they narrate in the Texts and in the Buddhist tradition, that once upon a time the Buddha was sitting with his disciples and they were all waiting (and at every opportunity they were waiting) for him to reveal to them the Supreme truth, about Asamskrita, that is, the Uncreated Reality, Nirvana, Enlightenment, Completion. They say the Buddha simply picked up a flower. This was his Teaching. In Buddhist art the Buddha has been represented thousands of times holding up a flower. Was that the teaching? What did he want to say? They say that only Kasyapa understood. But what did Kasyapa understand? What one understands depends on one's spiritual development and mental state. And Kasyapa could understand a lot, depending on his intellectual level. They say he understood the Truth. But what is the Truth? They say that the Buddha conveyed something, some message, and that only Kasyapa understood. But the Message that the Buddha conveyed by lifting the flower, the Truth that Kasyapa Realized, have anything to do with the lifting of the flower? Are they really related or is their relationship completely arbitrary and basically unrelated? In fact, the latter is exactly what happens.

The Buddha wanted to say that the Truth is completely beyond all external activities and we must See It Directly, ourselves within. It is not transmitted by external actions and symbols. Could he, instead of picking up the flower, get up and leave, or do anything else, or say "why are you stupid"? Reality is completely outside of all this and the relationship established between the Indication of Reality and external action is completely arbitrary. We should not stick to practice. So, what does lifting the flower mean? Absolutely nothing, Did it transmit something? No. So, what was the lifting of the flower? It was a simple human outward act, the lifting of the flower, nothing more. People just need to Look Elsewhere. And what the Buddha conveyed was precisely the exhortation for the disciples to Look Elsewhere. But only Kasyapa did it and for Kasyapa the lifting of the flower was simply the lifting of a flower, the Message was not there. But some others stuck to the external act and tried to see what this meant. Even to this day there are some who think that the lifting of the flower communicated something.

Now see the pitfall, how the Buddha's Genuine Experience, his Genuine Teaching which few Understand, can be misunderstood. In the history of Chan (Zen in Japan) there have been many enlightened people. There were people who had Genuine Experience and people who mentally grasped the Truth. Remember the example of Hui-Neg and his antagonist in the Monastery, with the composition of the poems on Truth (and Mind). When a Master was asked what is Truth, what is Buddha, what is Dharma, if he was a genuine master he could take the student out of the mental process. But there were also people who believed that they became enlightened simply by imitating the Buddha, making some gesture or some action. These people were not Experiencing Reality and did a related arbitrary act, they just did an arbitrary act thinking that this is the Truth, this is the Teaching, this is the correct way of transmitting the Truth. Certainly, we cannot expect anything from an external act which is anyway an external act. But are these people who do not Experience the Truth and do not Understand help anyone? Genuine teachers are distinguished by their effectiveness, not by name, reputation, students. Genuine teachers have no students because everyone is their own teacher. And genuine teachers reveal this to their students who quickly go their own way.

Finally, we see that Truth is another different Existential Space that has nothing to do with intellect, description, external actions, symbols. So, what is True Buddhism? Buddhism is Nirvana, Experiencing Reality, elimination of personal existence. They are not theories, schools, disagreements and all the things that people do in history.

But, as we said at the beginning, what if we talk? And who cares about us? People will continue to seek the truth outside, by external means. They cannot understand that the Truth is Themselves, the True Nature that is buried within them, beneath thoughts and knowledge and experiences and activities and deeds. Someday they will wake up.