The classic Buddhist work on Great Transcendent Wisdom teaches:
“All things are subject to causes and conditions, none are independent….All are born from causes and conditions, and because of this they have no intrinsic nature of their own. Because of having no intrinsic nature, they are ultimately empty. Not clinging to them because they are ultimately empty is called transcendent wisdom.”
I really love this concept.
Now, none of us are about to go off in the woods and become ascetics, unattached to our possessions and lives. Is this to say that none of us will achieve transcendent wisdom? Well, yes, probably, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something for us to learn from these words.
They’re about our attachment to material objects and the world around us. We become so attached to our things, to crap, to objects, and cars and houses and trinkets and nonsense and so many things that we don’t need that they prevents us – not only, according to this passage from transcendent wisdom and enlightenment – but from, in the meantime, living life.
People forgo so much for the crap they have. They worry about losing it and worry when it’s lost. They spend time and energy and money protecting crap (not that I blame them – I’ve had my home broken into and I know how much it sucks) and consequently don’t enjoy the finer things in life. People don’t travel and see new things because there’s too much to attend to at home, and they don’t live life because they’d rather sit amongst their crap. Many people don’t experience the fun and excitement of moving to a new city or country because they’ve accumulated too much stuff and wouldn’t know how to get it there and don’t want to lose it. The ability to pick up and go is a wonderful thing.
It’s not that these lifestyles aren’t understandable – liking our crap, that is. After all, I like crap. It’s just that we sometimes need the reminder that it is just stuff and there’s more to life than the stuff. When we see that nothing has intrinsic value we’ll see the value in everything.
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