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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Personal Experience

Ironically, it is from personal experience that I learned that personal experience and feelings are not the standard by which all things are to be judged. They are not to be relied on to define our worldview, and not the things that we should depend on for our eternal destiny.

Why? Maybe I’m an incredibly weak person, but I’m honest. I used to search for the God according to me, anything that I didn’t agree with could not possibly be of God. I was the one who decided right from wrong, truth from falsehood. I decided who God was and the things He would and would not do. I had placed myself in the place of ultimate authority, yet I was honest enough to know that I did not belong there.

Besides, when my feelings, mind, and experience changed so did my standards and worldview. In other words, there was no absolute truth, which by definition cannot be absolutely true. After a while I could no longer live with such uncertainty in all things.

At school one day I listened to a conversation between a painfully depressed woman and some students, finally the instructor told her that the Buddha said that desire is the cause of all suffering, “Rid yourself of desire and you will rid yourself of suffering.” When she asked how to go about doing this, the instructor admitted that he didn’t know, having not yet reached that stage himself. Sadly, all that these enlightened people could offer a hurting soul was an idealistic theory of a state of being they had not experienced themselves. Besides, what are you to do with the desire that you must have to rid yourself of those desires???

What personal experience has taught me is that experiences are always changing, therefore, I cannot trust my eternal destiny on such subjective experiences.

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