The Shroud of Ignorance
There are aspects of our consciousness that can be problematic. No one causes us as much harm than we cause ourselves with our constant mental noise, derision, and judgement.
In order for us to go beyond suffering, we must confront and meet these aspects, otherwise we will get stuck in an unconscious trance, a loop where we meet these patterns again and again instead of meeting our suffering. I want to talk about one of these, namely ignorance.We believe all of the phenomena we see to be real and everlasting. We identifying with our fleeting stories and thoughts of ourselves and believe them to be our actual selves. We often don’t investigate our thoughts and ask ourselves what we don’t know, much of how we respond to the world ends up being products of our conditioning, what we have been taught by our parents, school, work, and society. There are thoughts and beliefs in our minds that we believe to be true, but if we actually meet and investigate them, unwrap in the light of consciousness, we find that these are beliefs that we have been taught and uninvestigated.The Buddhist path invites us to investigate our world. We are asked to sit and watch what the mind does, where it goes, what it believes. We are asked to deal with our unconscious patterns and aspects of ourselves.
Through investigation we can find that things do not exists as we have assumed they do. We find that ourselves and our egos are fleeting and ephemeral. We can then choose to direct our minds in the directions which we desire such as resting in equanimity. This does not mean that we must complacently acquiesce to whatever is going on in the outer world, but we can meet it fully, with presence, and with an open heart and thereby powerfully move through it.
Originally published at www.scottgoolsby.com.