Beautiful image. Is it helpful? What is trying to be depicted? Awesomeness!
In Buddhism, there is the concept of Annata. The Buddha, a human being, figured this concept out. It is the idea that we have no soul. Okay, right off, many people will read no further. That’s fine. But if your’re brave, or curious, or want to prove me wrong, then please read on.
So, annata means that what we feel is our ‘soul’ is actually an illusion. For this post, I will use the words ‘soul’ and ‘consciousness’ to mean the same thing….for is it not our feeling of self-awareness that we consider our ‘soul’? Well, perhaps not – but for this post, I will use them to mean the same thing.
Animals can be taught to become self-aware. What does that mean? It means they can awaken. Awaken to a higher level of understanding…. And humans have taught them this.
We all can easily see how our sub-conscious is always thinking behind the scenes, so to speak. But what does that mean? It’s like a secret hidden version of yourself, operating countless thoughts – Have you ever been really grumpy and not realize it at first? Then you realize, ‘oh man, I am sooo grumpy’. Your secret hidden self already figured that out! haha. So we have lots and lots of thoughts we never ‘think’ about – on our ‘self-aware’ conscious level. Even something simple as hunger or needing to pee! – Your brain thought of that before ‘you’ did! – ‘on man, i need to pee!’
So, this hidden-level, we can view it from our conscious-level mind.
So, sages, wise men and women, buddhas, saints, and holy persons – they all seem to say the same sorta thing: there’s yet another level above our ‘consciousness’ – and we can be taught to realize it – exactly like the monkeys can be taught ‘consciousness’ or ‘self-awareness’ . So this next level, a higher consciousness- can we have faith that these wise humans are telling the truth?
The word ‘faith’ has become a dirty word – for those not smart enough to think for themselves. That has some truth in it, for certain, but do not we all have faith in things that touch our hearts without understanding how it affected us so deeply? Or faith in those people who shine brightly and tell us how they figured out how to shine?
So, the Buddha said we do not have an unchanging soul, there is nothing about us that does not change- so what can remain to be called a permanent soul? This may sound depressing, but it is actually the opposite – we are always able to change into a beckon of light at any moment.
Let us contemplate for a moment , or longer, on the illusion of our own selves- how very real it seems , and it is real, in a way – but not the way we desire it to be – it is much, much better!
Remember, your brain is much smarter than you can ever be. See where it expands to and let us meet up in our dreams and smile.