The Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths
Right now there is a unique emphasis upon light and enlightenment, everywhere. The revival in western civilization of Buddha’s ancient teachings reflects this truth. Countless millions down the ages have recognized the Buddha as the symbol of enlightenment, the Light Bearer from on High.
The Buddha’s Four Noble Truths expose the causes of human trouble and include the cure, the Noble Eightfold Path, which is the Path of Right Human Relations. Humanity is learning these lessons and taking its first steps along the Lighted Way of Right Relations.
Those who seek the path to enlightenment must first remove all ego pride and humbly be willing to accept the light of Truth. All the treasures of the world, all its gold, silver and honors, are not to be compared with wisdom and virtue. To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.
Anyone who can control the mind can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come. Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.
Suffering and frustration come from our difficulty in facing the basic fact of life that everything around us is impermanent and transitory. Rich or poor, average or gifted, all life is subjected to the following: the trauma of birth, the pathology of sickness, the fear of physical and mental degeneration, the phobia of death, karmically to be tied to what one distastes, or to be separated from what one loves. “All things must arise and pass away.”
The cause of suffering and frustration occurs because out of ignorance, we divide the perceived world into individual and separate things. The desire to pull apart from the rest of life and seek fulfillment for the separated self, at the expense of all other forms of life, causes suffering to the whole, as Life is One Being. Our duty to our brothers and sisters is to understand them as extensions, other aspects of ourselves, as fellow facets of the same reality.
3. Suffering and Frustration Can Be Ended
If the cause of life’s suffering is those inclinations which tend to continue or increase separativeness, in fact all forms of selfish craving, then its cure lies in the overcoming of such cravings. If we can be released from the narrow limits of self-interest into the vast expanse of universal life, we will be free of our torment.
The overcoming of desire is through substitution of the personal wants with divine inclinations.
4. The Eightfold Path to Enlightenment
The way out of our captivity is through the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment:
Right Understanding leads to Wisdom
Right Aspiration leads to Divine Inclination
Right Speech leads to Truth and Understanding
Right Behavior leads to Goodwill
Right Livelihood leads to Sharing
Right Effort leads to Highest Outcome
Right Mindfulness leads to Purposeful Living
Right Absorbtion leads to Unity
In these simple words Buddha teaches us to shine our light, and find peace.