Q. How did we come to be in this situation where we do not know what we are?
A. Buddhism says that this situation is from a discrimination from time immemorial. According to the Bible, this situation started when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil in the beginning of time. Anyway, both say that a discrimination was the source of this situation.
Buddha gave us a very nice answer by using a metaphor when he was asked this question by one of his students. He said, “Let’s suppose that you, hit by a poisonous arrow, are dying with the poison spreading in your body. Which is more critical at this moment, pulling out the arrow from you and saving your life, or trying to find out where and whom the arrow is from?” We should know better than to lose our lives whilst trying in vain to find out the source of the arrow.
Try to see everything as it is now, which is to get rid of the poisoned arrow from you and save your life. When you come to see everything as it is, you can not only save your life but also clearly know the answer to your question. That is, you can understand what is mentioned in the first paragraph.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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