Are You Lost in Space & Time?
Realisation: Are You Lost in Space & Time?
The astronaut's lifeline to his shuttle is disconnected. He floats stranded in deep space, drifting slightly in no particular direction. He can see some distant heavenly bodies - a planet, a moon, an asteroid, a star, a galaxy... He doesn't know which is a true refuge. Some seem nice but far, some seem unappealing but near. But that's just appearances - nothing seemed certain. He sees other astronauts - some also drifting randomly and some purposeful, but each going in different directions. This confuses more than helps him. He doesn't know how much much oxygen and jet-propelling fuel is left in his tanks and shuttle. He doesn't know if he will make it to anywhere in particular in time. Should he fire his signal flares and wait for help? But for how long? Should he simply choose a destination and go towards it? What should he do?
Sounds like a dark and dreary nightmare? Wake up! Welcome to the adventure of your life - one that needs your courage and determination, compassion and wisdom. This is the story of your life. The moment we are "self"-conscious, we feel disconnected and alienated from everything else to some extent, not realising our interconnectedness. We are suspended in the middle of nowhere, existentially lost in space and time, in the eternal here and now. There are many goals we can achieve, but we are unsure which are the worthiest to invest our life in. Even after choosing a goal, we cannot be absolutely sure we will be able to attain it with the limited time we have. Should we wait and see indefinitely, or should we actively seek a solution with the best of our wisdom?
What is our real goal? All we ever want is True Happiness. In the Buddha's time, there were more than 60 other religious schools of thought, each professing to be the only path to True Happiness, each claiming the others to be false. Only the Buddha openly invited everyone to question His teachings before acceptance. Being the astronaut above facing all the uncertainties, plus the certainty of the brevity of life, where will you first go for spiritual refuge? I know I will "fly" with all my might to embrace this brightest beacon of the Buddha's teachings in the "darkness" of this universe. I am confident in the Buddha because of His open confidence. I trust I am smart in choosing His teachings, since they are guaranteed to be wise and for the wise, since they are limitlessly "insured" by the spirit of intelligent free enquiry! What else is more worth staking my life and True Happiness in? -shian
[Note: Largely due to its highly practical and open approach, Buddhism is currently the fastest growing religion in the West, in particular US and UK (and Austrialia too) ]
Related Article: The Lost Man
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