A friend of mine gave me a piece of paper with content that is very close to what is shown in the text below. I have added a few additional words and details to clarify it.
At first, this message mostly just intrigued me but I found myself reading it every day. There was a truth to it that I could no longer ignore.
The message changed as my perception was changing. Today, the message has a completely different meaning than what it had when I first read it – but the message is still the same.
What if Everything is “Already” Perfect?
Life seems pretty miserable, doesn’t it? You have a few birthdays, you try to satisfy desires as they arise, and before you know it your health is declining, and then you die. If you are religious, at least you know you go to heaven. But what are the chances you chose the one true religion? Every one claims to be the only true one, and they all demand blind faith.
But the one thing that almost nobody seems to consider is that they may simply be seeing reality incorrectly. In fact, you and I do not exist in reality.The body exists. The circumstances exist. But the individual who the brain believes that it is, that goes by a name and who is reading this right now, does not. Not outside of the brain, anyway.
Proof #1: Everything happens due to conditions. Think about that. Imagine what it would mean for that to be falsified. Could something happen without any supporting conditions? No, of course not. This is common sense.
The very strange thing is that common sense is ignored so we can feel as if we are independent agents able to make choices which are not dependent upon conditions (aka “Free Will”). Obviously, choices are made. But how? What causes one choice vs another choice? If it were random, it would not make any sense at all. It’s obviously not random. But even if it were random, that still wouldn’t help us feel as if our choices were truly our own.
We don’t know our next thoughts until we think them. We don’t decide which desires will surge up. And even if we did choose our desires and thoughts, there would be conditions leading to those choices. Even a creator God; choosing to create the universe, is subject to the same lack of free will as any other being. Free will itself is a logical impossibility.
For some strange reason, when confronted with this realization, people often assume that their choices are meaningless, when in fact the opposite is the case. Precisely because each choice affects future conditions and future choices, each choice is important in shaping the future, though it happens automatically. There is no “self” that exists outside of reality (aka the web of conditions) to influence reality. The most powerful choice to make is the choice to meditate on and contemplate this truth of Dependent Origination, for it leads to liberation from the dream of identity.
The next problem that people run into is imagining that they must exist as simply the awareness of what is going on, since they are now convinced that everything is happening automatically. That’s a frightening idea, that one is trapped as some kind of powerless observer. But thankfully, that’s just another illusion.
Proof #2: Let’s talk about direct experience: sensations, emotions, and cognitive experiences like thoughts and other states of mind. Looking closely at these aspects of direct experience, is there any witness (self) to be found in any of it? Or is the sense of witnessing simply a conceptual overlay that integrates the various streams of perception? When seeing, is there someone experienced to be seeing, or is there only the seen? When a thought appears, saying “I am seeing,” is it just a thought, or is it pointing to some real self somewhere that is seeing?
Reality is center-less, free-flowing process; it is not split up into subjects and objects except in the mind’s imagination. There are components of reality, but that does not change the fact that it is a free-flowing process, and that the brain creates an identity separate from that as a means of protecting the body it appears to be assigned to.
To split up reality and solidify it is quite stressful. It is maddening to ignore the truth! Plus, it is causing you to suffer.
With practice at not hiding from the Truth, many “people” even today have managed (to varying degrees) to get over the delusion that the conditioned sense of self points to a truly existing self, and thus have overcome stress &t the illusion of birth and death.
Remember: You are not the center of the universe. There is no center, or background, except an imagined one.