Through much of the Buddhist world, practitioners of its’ teachings take a series of guidelines for the conduct of their daily lives called “The Precepts”. They are not a big deal in an astounding amount of Buddhism in the West (The Americas), because we don’t like ‘rules’. Several other teachings that are at the core of Buddhism are also ignored or hushed up because so much of Buddhist teaching has been ‘improved’ and ‘made more accessible’ to the western mind/psyche by our Base Religion of Therapy/Psychology. (Mandatory disclaimer coming up.)…Of course Therapy and Psychology help an astounding number of people with problems they (the number of people), can’t quite describe or put their finger on, so to speak.
Whoops, digression zone ends in several inches, with any luck………here.
So, the Precepts that are commonly taken by Buddhist lay practitioners (non-monastics), throughout much of the Buddhist World are typically called ‘The Five Precepts’.
- Refrain from the taking of life.
- Refrain from taking that which is not given.
- Refrain from saying that which is untrue.
- Refrain from indulging mere desires.
- Refrain from using, selling or causing others to use the Wine of Delusion.
(The refraining concedes that we are human and will at least try.)
# Five, at its most coarse level reminds us that alcohol and drugs distract us from our natural minds and we can’t think clearly when under their influence. At a bit more subtle level we also can’t think clearly when we have strong opinions, or strong beliefs, or varying degrees of certainty about any personal mixture of ideas regarding life, society, science, politics, religion, morals, behaviors, etc. And, when we want to talk to other people about our ideas etc; and convince them they are missing something in their views and ideas; And we can help point out those shortcomings etc. AND, Yes you are welcome.
Most standard conversations whether in a bar, at an event, in church, over family dinner being consumed on the ride home from a long day of family stuff, are variations of consuming, selling, encouraging others to imbibe our own delusive ideas about reality and join us; as we join others in their views of Life and its little Realities.
All news, all TV, all reporting, all discussion in public spheres, all opining, all insights and for sure all Expert Views are absolutely wines of delusion; Because they decrease clarity and fix our minds and hearts into a Certainty, of some sort And, then we are off to the races.This is the condition that makes us human and worrisome and wonderful as a life form.
So, there’s no way any of this is going to change measurably for quite some time is my guess. But, and this is a But and an AND, we can, each of us, cut back just a little from the habits/addictions to using of the wine of delusion, and maybe refraining just a tad when we want to convince others, or ourselves, about some insistence regarding some thing that we believe to be true. Just cut back a little.
Ease on up.
Relax once or twice a day and not indulge ourselves in the stuff that we know to be True. Let’s just keep it to ourselves, once in a while on most days. Gotta start somewhere.
I’m going to start my little effort at the end of this sentence. I am too!