Sight and Insight

By Sharmini Jayawardena

Sight is defined in the dictionary as follows:

1. the faculty or power of seeing. – eyesight, vision, eyes, faculty of sight, power of sight, ability to see, visual perception, observation. “She has excellent sight.”

2. a thing that one sees or that can be seen.

1.manage to see or observe (someone or something); catch an initial glimpse of –
glimpse, catch/get a glimpse of, catch sight of, see, spot, spy, notice, observe, make out, pick out, detect, have sight of

2.take aim by looking through the sight of a gun.

Insight is defined as follows:

1.the capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something – intuition, perception, awareness, discernment, understanding, comprehension, cognizance, penetration, acumen, astuteness, perspicacity, perspicaciousness, sagacity, safeness, discrimination, judgement, shrewdness, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, acuity, acuteness, flair, breadth of view, vision, farsightedness, prescience, imagination; accurate and deep understanding – insights

3.awareness by a mentally ill person that their mental experiences are not based in external reality.

A vast expanse of meanings and insights to the two words definitely.

Recently, a friend shared a document written by him on why everything in this world as the Buddha said is illusion and nothing else!

I asked him how come a blind person can see by means other than through the naked eye.

He countered this by saying a blind man cannot see!

Well, that is according your own limited perception or knowledge isn’t it.

Neither do those of us who have our faculty of sight in order see someone or something in the same way as another does! Isn’t it? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, they say.

That is why we have a gazillion ways of projecting or presenting a thing. For example, we can all write on a given topic, but we will all write from the standpoint or viewpoint of our own experience!

This is why I believe the Buddha gave paramount importance to experience. He has said that his experience will never be that of another’s. (His life seeking the truth also followed this same premise as we all know. He made himself go through extreme conditions before arriving at the solution.) He merely made us understand that everything in this life is subject to change or decay. This fundamental truth cannot be denied. Whether you die at the age of 10 or at the age of 100 or over you have to end sooner or later.

But if you live to a 100 and in good health there is much to gain, as the Buddha also said, longevity is due to good actions or great kusala karma.

The Buddha has also explained what path this life of our’s take. As in, suffering, the reason for suffering, putting an ending to this suffering and the path to ending this suffering. These are the Four Noble Truths.

The path being the Middle Path, as experienced by him. This is known as The Noble Eightfold path.

It is obvious that if we were to indulge in the extremes of anything it will be to our detriment.

My companion also made mention of the Sannukta Nikaya* where the Buddha says perception is a mirage and that consciousness is a magician.

The argument is that when we open our eyes we see the object before us and the moment we close our eyes the object ceases to exist. That this world and its myriad things are but merely an illusion.

Let’s face it – just as the Buddha has said, everything is subject to change! Ok, by that very premis what the Buddha has said is also subject to change!

This is also the truth or amounts to the undeniable truth.

So in an era in this world where we have now progressed, though however slowly, toward information technology and now towards Artificial Intelligence we are definitely moving towards another era in philosophy as well.

The era of the Maitriya Buddha has already dawned on us and not many of us have been inducted to the new era. I’m speaking of Buddhists themselves. To be more accurate, Theravada Buddhists.

They are unable to let go of their Gautama, The Buddha!

But Gautama Buddha also said all of the suffering of this world is due to the inability to let go of people, things and ways of thinking.

So, what is happening here?

They are unable to give up suffering and they are also ipso facto unable to reach perfection or Nirvana.

The Maitriya Buddha is only a principle. There is no existence of this Buddha as a persona. It is a knowing or insight that will envelop and embrace all of mankind and other species alike.

Maitriya is loving kindness.

This is a profound instinct. The ability to respond to all people, fauna and flora on this earth and beings from else where with equanimity in an all embracing loving kindness.

This is very easy to acquire when one is able to let go. It is a very strong quality by which we can prevent all of the suffering in this world.

Loving kindness begins with loving one’s self as was also said by the Gautama Buddha.

The new “theruvan saranai” or blessings of the Buddha, the Dhamma (the teaching of the Buddha) and the Sanga (the disciples of the Buddha) is:

Metta, Karuna and Upeka – Loving Kindness, Compassion and Equanimity

Though light travels faster than sound it is now known that Communication through sound waves has immense and far reaching possibilities yet to be unveiled to the public,(to be discussed at another time), especially through the means of radio!

We must steer towards seeing things from the perspective of the big picture and not from the narrow confines of science as we know it today!

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